Beryl to regain tropical storm status, but otherwise, the Atlantic is quiet
It's been a while since I wrote my last blog entry, and since then, the Atlantic as seen their second named storm of the season, Beryl. To see two named storms before the official start of the hurricane season is truly historic. In fact, it hasn't occurred in over 100 years. To make things even more remarkable, Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville Beach, Florida during the pre-dawn hours of Monday, with winds of 70 mph; this makes Beryl the strongest pre-June, USA-landfalling tropical cyclone on record. Since then, Beryl has moved northward and northeastward in response to a trough to its north. As of the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds were near 30 mph with a minimum barometric pressure of 1005 millibars. Satellite imagery reveals a well-defined center of circulation with well-defined banding located primarily over the Atlantic.
Figure 1. Afternoon visible satellite imagery of Tropical Depression Beryl.
The forecast for Beryl
Beryl is expected to continue towards the northeast over the next few days as it is embedded within the westerlies around the the base of an eastward-moving shortwave trough located over the Central USA. This should bring Beryl off the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina, over the warm Gulf Stream waters, by tomorrow morning. Despite moderate vertical wind shear, most of the models re-intensify it into a tropical storm; the official NHC forecast closely follows this. A second landfall on the southeastern coast of North Carolina is possible tomorrow afternoon as the cyclone continues moving northeast. However, with moderate wind shear, it appears that most tropical storm-force winds will be located on the eastern quadrant, or the offshore quadrant, of Beryl. Regardless, much of the eastern half of North Carolina should expect torrential rainfall, gusty winds, and brief tornadoes...especially tomorrow morning when parameters are at their greatest. The latest National Hurricane Center track forecast continues the tropical storm out to sea as we head into Thursday, gradually transitioning into an extratropical storm before dissipating on Friday. I agree with this track.
INIT 29/2100Z 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
12H 30/0600Z 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
24H 30/1800Z 35 KT 40 MPH...OVER WATER
36H 31/0600Z 45 KT 50 MPH
48H 31/1800Z 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 01/1800Z 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP