Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:24 PM GMT on July 20, 2006
Beryl has begun a slow decline in strength this afternoon. The latest Hurricane Hunter center report at 2pm EDT found the pressure unchanged from the 7am advisory, 1002 mb. Long range radar from Long Island (Figure 1) shows some good spiral banding, but the storm has a much more ragged appearance on satellite pictures. Infrared satellite imagery shows a substantial warming of the cloud tops, which means Beryl's thunderstorms are not reaching as high into the atmosphere. This morning's Central Dense Overcast (CDO) is gone. With the wind shear now rising steadily and sea surface temperatures declining, Beryl's winds will probably start to decrease late tonight. The Hurricane Hunters found top winds of only 45 mph at the surface in their 2pm pass through the storm, but hadn't sampled the entire storm yet.
Figure 1.Current long-range radar out of Long Island.
Impact on New England
A strong band of westerly upper-level winds over New England has turned Beryl to the north-northeast, and she will likely pass very close to Massachusetts' Nantucket Island early Friday morning. At 2pm EDT, waves at the Long Island buoy 38 miles south of Islip were up to 11 feet, and winds were gusting to 36 mph. Large waves on top of the expected 1-3 foot storm surge should cause some moderate beach erosion along the southeast Massachussetts coast. Fortunately, Beryl's closest approach to land at 4am EDT Friday coincides with low tide. Beryl will be moving quickly when it passes Massachusetts, and some of the heaviest rain will remain offshore, so flooding from rainfall should be minor. Rains of 1-4 inches are expected in southeast Massachussetts, Long Island, and Rhode Island.
Elsewhere in the tropics
An area of disturbed weather a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico has diminished. A large cloud of African dust over the eastern Atlantic should keep things quiet there the rest of the week. None of the computer models are hinting at any development over the next week.
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