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Beryl dumping heavy rains; all-time May heat records set in MI, OH

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:55 PM GMT on May 29, 2012

Tropical Depression Beryl continues to bring heavy rains to Northern Florida and Southern Georgia, but has begun to move northeast, and will be spreading heavy rains over coastal South Carolina today and North Carolina on Wednesday. Rains of 5 - 8 inches have been common over Northern Florida. These rains have caused numerous problems with street flooding, but no serious damage. The heaviest rains from Beryl so far have been to the southwest of the center, over Lafayette County, Florida, where 12.65" was measured as of 6:30 am EDT Tuesday near Midway. Beryl spawned one tornado on Monday, near Florida's St. Lucie Medical Center. The twister damaged two roofs and brought down trees and power lines. One swimmer is missing from Folly Beach, South Carolina, and a 19 year old man is missing and presumed drowned from swimming in rough surf in Daytona Beach, Florida. Before becoming a tropical cyclone, Beryl produced heavy rainfall over Cuba, especially Sancti Spíritus Province, where meteorologists reported more than 20 in (510 mm) of precipitation. The rains caused mudslides and flash floods, destroying 47 houses and damaging 1,109 more. Two people died attempting to cross flooded rivers in Cuba.

Figure 1. True-color MODIS satellite image of Beryl taken at 12:05 pm EDT May 28, 2012 by NASA's Terra satellite. At the time, Beryl was a tropical depression with winds of 35 mph.

Forecast for Beryl
Beryl will continue to spin and dump copious rains as it treks through Southern Georgia today, and coastal South Carolina and North Carolina on Wednesday. These rains will generally not be heavy enough to cause damaging flooding, since the region is under moderate to severe drought. When Beryl pops off the coast near the North Carolina/South Carolina border on Wednesday, wind shear will be low enough and ocean temperatures warm enough to allow re-intensification to a tropical storm. However, tropical-storm-force winds will probably be limited to the right-front side, over the ocean, and the coast of North Carolina will see winds no greater than 35 mph.

Figure 2. Estimated rainfall from Beryl from the Valdosta, Georgia radar.

July-like heat wave brings hottest May temperatures on record to Michigan, Ohio
A strong high pressure system anchored over the central U.S. brought more record-smashing May heat to much of the country on Monday. The heat was most notable in Southern Lower Michigan and Northern Ohio, where Detroit (95°F), Flint (93°), Cleveland (92°F), and Toledo, Ohio (96°) tied or set records for their hottest temperature ever recorded in May. On Saturday, at least nine airports in the Midwest had their hottest May day on record, and 58 out of 456 U.S. airports set daily high temperature records. On Sunday, at least sixteen airports in the Midwest had their hottest May day on record, and 68 out of 456 U.S. airports set daily high temperature records. Eight airports in the Western U.S. set daily coldest temperature records on Sunday; no airports have set an all-time coldest May temperature record in the U.S. this month. Temperatures 5 - 10°F above average are expected over portions of New England today, but the May 2012 heat wave is pretty much over for the U.S.

Jeff Masters
Beryl's Rain Bands
Beryl's Rain Bands
Beryl's about 75 mi SSE from us and still off shore and on schedule to move over land sometime after mid night. We're getting steady 20-30 mph winds.
Beryl Band
Beryl Band

Heat Hurricane

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