Update - Monday, May 28, 1230AM
Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville Beach, Florida, at 1210AM EDT as a 70MPH tropical storm. At midnight Jacksonville NAS had sustained winds of 39mph gusting to 54mph and the Tropical Storm Warnings are still in effect. Beryl will continue to slowly move westward on Monday and weaken to a Tropical Depression in about 24 - 30 hours or less.
Heavy rainfall is still likely over northern Florida and southern Georgia on Monday and Tuesday. Tropical rain squalls are likely over the Florida peninsula on Monday. Rip currents continue as a threat along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
6:30PM EDT 5/27/2012 Update
Beryl has continued to improve in structure this afternoon, having become effectively "full" tropical today. Dry air has been shoved out of the center, and in fact Beryl is now in the process of moistening up the environment all around it, and is developing an upper level high pressure overhead, which is slowly replacing the cold upper level low that had been keeping it in check as a subtropical cyclone until now.
Interaction with land on its approach may seem to defy customary logic, as even though the tropical cyclone will soon be over more of the cooler shelf waters and less of the toasty Gulf Stream, the bands along its western side may continue to flare up when interacting with land, and in turn continue to tighten around Beryl's center. Thus, even though Beryl was forecast to remain a subtropical or tropical storm through landfall, it is becoming increasingly possible - perhaps even 50/50 - that it attains hurricane status prior to, or during landfall.
What this means is that some of the most intense impacts from Beryl will likely start to be felt sooner, rather than later tonight. In fact, as can be seen in the image below, the most intense banding around the cyclone is actually just about 30-50 miles offshore. As Recon has been finding maximum sustained winds within the western bands in excess of 80MPH at flight level, and given that the precipitation within the bands - especially the westernmost bands - is now HEAVY, it is reasonable to assume that 90% or so of these flight level winds are making it to the surface. In other words, if this trend continues, look for yet another upgrade to Beryl.
Residents right along the coast and just inland from northeast Florida up through coastal Georgia should be taking precautions for the potential of some hurricane conditions tonight.
3PM EDT 5/27/2012 Update
Beryl has completed transition from Subtropical Storm to Tropical Storm and sustained winds have increased to 65mph with gusts to 75mph. Earlier today Beryl got quite a convective boost as the cyclone crossed the Gulf Stream. The center has contracted and the convective shield has expanded - especially to the east. If the 'comma' pattern holds, quite a bit of rainfall could occur in southeast Georgia and northeast Florida long after the center has moved inland to the west.
At 3PM, Tropical Storm Beryl was located 100 miles to the east of Jacksonville, Florida, moving to the west (265 degrees) at 10mph. Landfall as a strong tropical storm at or shortly after midnight in the St. Augustine to Jacksonville area.
7AM EDT 5/27/2012 Update
Subtropical Storm Beryl is moving a bit faster to the west-southwest this morning as it approaches northern Florida. It is likely to landfall late tonight bringing some rain to a drought ridden north Florida/Southern Georgia.
That said, a lot of dry air remains in Beryl so it will likely not be a "drought-buster" but it will help some. Quite a bit of dry air remains in the system, which is the primary factor preventing it from transitioning to full tropical and strengthening right now.
Wind wise it will likely be breezy with 45 mph winds along the coast within the Warning areas and a generally nasty evening. The wind field is large because of the subtropical nature, so winds will pick up this morning and gradually increase into the evening. The strongest winds are on the northeast side of the system.
Beryl has little time left to strengthen or transition to a pure tropical system, and the official forecast is to basically keep it as it is now, as a subtropical storm until landfall.
This morning has seen Beryl remain quite symmetrical, and rain bands have been forming on the southwest, so landfall as it is or slightly stronger seems most likely. It is not a good beach day along the coastal warnings, unless you are a surfer. Beware of rip currents, however.
Follow Mark Sudduth on the map (and video stream) as he heads to Northeast Florida to observe Beryl.
Jacksonville Area Cams:
Jaxsonville Pier Cam
Ameilia Island Webcam
Jax Webcam Map
Bridges Around Jax
Jacksonville Action News TowerCams (Jax, PIer, etc)
8AM EDT 5/26/2012 Update
Beryl's center is exposed this morning and little if any strengthening is expected, the convection is mostly to the northeast and the system continues to look ragged.
The tropical storm warning area should continue to look for possible tropical storm conditions, but saying that, Beryl is a sheared subtropical system, so winds may be brisk for a larger area than normal, and rainfall, unfortunately for north Florida and Georgia, will only be marginal. (And if Beryl remains sheared, most of the rainfall may be on the northern side)
It is forecast for the storm to gain some strength as it leaves the area of shear, if the center remains intact, so it remains prudent to watch this system, especially as it moves over the Gulf, for any strengthening trends. The most likely idea is that it stays about the same or weaker as it is now all the way into landfall.
The current most likely region for landfall is just north of the Jacksonville area, behind and the north side of the system are by far the more wet sides currently. If Beryl managed to become more organized more rain will be along with the southern sections. Either way, not a good weekend to be at the N. Florida/GA/Southern SC beaches.
The actual Atlantic Hurricane season doesn't begin until June 1st, a milder winter has given rise to slightly better conditions earlier for pre-season development, but it also implies most of the storms this year will be sheared more often, with only a few exceptions possibly making it to something stronger.. more likely later in the season.
Advisories have begun on Subtropical Storm Beryl with maximum sustained winds currently estimated at 45MPH.
Beryl is nearly colocated with a mid to upper level low, which has been imparting shear on the cyclone, and forcing it to ingest much of the dry air currently over the southeastern US and Gulf of Mexico. These factors have served to slow its development, and will continue to do so, but it is expected that the shear will continue to gradually slacken somewhat over the weekend.
Beryl is forecast to approach the southeast coast by Sunday, bringing blustery winds and squally rains. At this time it is not exactly clear how far inland the cyclone will progress, but it is expected to make at least one landfall before being ejected back out to sea.
Because of this timing, Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued from the Brevard/Volusia county line in Florida northward into Ernesto Beach, SC.