Beryl Bringing Much Needed Rain

Tropical Depression Beryl:

Beryl has continued to weaken as it has moved inland this morning. As of 5pm EDT, the NHC had Beryl listed at:

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...30.8N 83.1W ABOUT 10 MI...20 KM E OF VALDOSTA GEORGIA ABOUT 150 MI...240 KM SW OF SAVANNAH GEORGIA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...30 MPH...45 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 335 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1003 MB...29.62 INCHES

Beryl made landfall this morning around 12:10am EDT near Jacksonville Beach, FL, bringing with it squally weather. Although Beryl’s maximum sustained winds were estimated to be near 70mph, peak gusts recorded this morning ranged from 50-65 mph, with the highest observed gust I’ve seen at Buck Island, FL at 73mph. The intensification to 70mph was more than originally forecast, and Beryl was just shy of reaching hurricane status. Beryl was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States in the month of May since 1908.

The main story with Beryl was the rain. Radar estimates from Jacksonville, FL shows most of NE Florida has seen at least 1 inch of rain with multiple areas receiving over 4 inches:

Beryl rainfall estimates

Although Beryl has weakened as it has moved inland, the heavy rainfall associated with the storms remains. Radar Imagery of the Southeastern United States shows that Beryl’s bands reach from Central Florida to Alabama and the Carolinas:

Radar Imagery of the SE United States

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) is forecasting that over the next 3 days much of the SE United States will receive over 2-3 inches of rain with isolated areas gaining over 5 inches:

HPC 3 day rainfall forecast

This is very good news as the SE United States is currently under severe to extreme drought conditions according to the Palmer Drought Severity Index:

Palmer Drought Severity Index

It is estimated that many regions in Northern Florida and Southern Georgia would need 9-15 inches of rainfall to bring drought levels to near normal conditions. Consequently, it is looking more and more like Beryl will be a large blessing to this region of the country.

Forecast:

The future of Beryl is still relatively uncertain, as a large part depends on when/where/if Beryl moves back over the waters of the Western Atlantic. Beryl is now in an area of weak steering currents, and will move little over the next 24 hours. After this time, an accelerated motion to the NE will begin:

Official Forecast Track for Beryl

The current NHC track brings Beryl very near the Atlantic coastline in 48 hours, but it is possible Beryl takes a more western track where the center remains over land before it is absorbed by a larger extratropical cyclone. If Beryl does move over the Western Atlantic, it will have about a day or so to intensify before it is absorbed by the aforementioned extratropical cyclone.

Regardless, Beryl’s primary effects on land will remain the same: heavy rainfall. The potential for severe flooding looks low at this time due to the current drought conditions.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, conditions are relatively quiet, which is expected for this time of year. There is a small possibility that we could see an area of disturbed weather try to develop in the NW Caribbean towards the end of the week or over the weekend. However, none of the reliable computer models are indicating development over the next week.

On a side note, it is Memorial Day here in the United States and I would like to take this time to thank those who serve/served in the armed forces for their dedication and loyalty to this fine nation. Thank you for all that you do.

I’ll have an update again when Beryl emerges over the Western Atlantic or if something else pops up.

-Mike

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