Charles E. Roop giving his own forecasts, weather discussions, photos and adventures for the Starkville, MS area, Florida, and beyond.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beryl Update

Beryl is looking a lot better than yesterday. In fact, it's no longer a hybrid. Despite that the SPC mesoanalysis is still showing an upper-level low over Beryl, it's been reclassified. Satellite imagery is beginning to go against the mesoanalysis as good outflow away from the center seems to be present. It looks tropical. Water vapor imagery looks a lot better than Saturday as it is showing dry air trying to kick into the system. There are some things that are helping this system develop further: a) it's over the Gulf Stream and b) the shear is still relatively weak. Convection has certainly blown up since my last update Saturday. It's just looking like a better system. This much intensification - up to 65 mph as of the 2 pm EDT advisory - is something I was not really expecting.

Rain bands are already moving into northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. This will continue on and off through the afternoon and through the night. Conditions will continue to deteriorate. The NHC is expecting Beryl to be near the Florida coast at around 8 pm EDT, just offshore of Jacksonville. There seems to be good model consensus of a Duval County landfall later tonight. But bear in mind that the effects of a tropical system are not restricted to the center of circulation. Rain and strong winds will be a primary threat across the Florida/Georgia area.

There is always the possibility of tropical cyclone-induced tornadoes, especially in the northern and right-front quadrant (Georgia and South Carolina). There is also the risk of inland flooding in low-lying and urban areas. Flooding risk would really depend on how slow Beryl moves before it makes its expected turn to the north and northeast.

Swimming and surfing at the beaches for the next couple of days is not recommended as rip currents are at a high risk.

There will likely be a short update tonight. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for the latest: twitter.com/daweathaman.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Update on Sub-TS Beryl

Yep, we are at it again just a few days before the start of hurricane season. We have a new tropical-ish system in the Atlantic basis and his name is Beryl. Subtropical Storm Beryl formed off the Carolina coast Friday evening. A "subtropical" storm simply means a storm system with a blend of both tropical (barotropic) and non-tropical (baroclinic) characteristics. One thing that is making this classified as a subtropical system is the lack of a ridge (high pressure) aloft. Instead, we have a upper-level low over the sub-TS - which can be seen on water vapor (see below, via NOAA).

Dry air is attempting to be dragged into the system via the upper low.

Beryl has max sustained winds of 45 mph, with some higher gusts. Because of the environment it is and will be under,  not much intensification is expected. From looking at the GFS, I don't expect this sub-TS to become a TS or a hurricane.

The models are in fair agreement with a North Florida / South Georgia landfall, but as the NHC points out in their last discussion, there is some uncertainty on when Beryl will start to recurve to the northeast and exit back into the Atlantic. A deep trough that is currently in the western U.S. is expected to deamplify and move east. This will be enough to help it kick back to the northeast, but timing and strength is one question that is lacking model consensus.

Regardless, impacts from sub-TS Beryl will not be grand in terms of wind and surge. Florida does need a lot of rain, especially in the northern and central parts (see Keetch Byram Drought Index below, via Florida Dept. of Forestry).

The thing we don't want is too much rain at once. Rip currents will also be a serious threat along the beaches between North Carolina and Central Florida. People going to the beaches this holiday weekend need to be careful and swim near a lifeguard.

More updates will be provided when necessary. I hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The First Tropical Storm Forms in the Atlantic - in Mid May

I just found out that we have our first tropical storm in the Atlantic basin only 12 days away from the official start of hurricane season. It's name: Alberto.

A disturbance that was labeled an invest has gathered enough tropical characteristics to be considered a TS. Current sea surface temps in the vicinity are hovering near the 80 deg F mark. Recent radar scans from Wilmington, NC show a closed circulation with even what looks like an "eye-like" feature between 19:57 and 21:20 UTC. Heavy convection can be seen on the western side of the center of circulation.