Fri Jul 06 2018 03:49 AM
Re: Tropical Storm Beryl Lounge

Very difficult to analyze exceptionally small TCs, and only all the more complicated when in such far-away, data-sparse locations. Using the best tools available to forecasters, Beryl is now estimated to be on the cusp of hurricane intensity, at 60 knots. One might insert plus or minus 20 knots (and more minus than plus), but this is the best estimate we've got, and it may very well be accurate.

Beryl formed over quite anomalously cool SSTs, at 25.6c vs a long-term 'normal' in this part of the Atlantic at this time of year of about 27c. Dr. Phillip Klotzbach notes that only 'about 5% of all Atlantic tropical cyclones have formed in colder than 26°C SSTs on average, and most of these form much further north.' In fact, in addition to this oddity, Dr. Klotzbach also points out that Beryl now has 'the strongest winds for an Atlantic tropical cyclone this far south (10.4°N) in July on record.'

So either we have a bad case of mistaken identity (overestimating Beryl's true strength, and to some extent, possibly even how well closed off the cyclone is at the surface), or we are indeed witnessing quite a performance from a little tropical low that could.

All that said, it does look like Beryl is well encased within a protective cocoon of very moist air and within a low to very low shear environment. These favorable conditions are mostly expected to last almost up until the cyclone just about reaches the Lesser Antilles by about Monday, at which point models almost universally devolve Beryl into an open wave. However, several keep this area of low pressure quite strong, and a few suggest redevelopment once in the the central Caribbean or closer to the Bahamas.

Given Beryl's exceptionally small size, rapid weakening and dissipation would normally be the near certain outcome, but considering both the nest with which the cyclone rides in and its vigor, these models that open the cyclone back up into a tropical wave never to reform might be getting it wrong.

Soon Beryl will be within range of hurricane hunter missions. This information will probably prove very helpful in sorting this one out.

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