Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Record Setting Beryl

When Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall in Jacksonville shortly after midnight Monday morning, it set a record for the strongest tropical storm to hit land before the beginning of the hurricane season. At that time,  top winds were at 70 mph. Historical data suggests, Beryl was stronger than Subtropical Storm Alpha from 1972, which had max winds of about 60 mph. It was also stronger than an unnamed storm in 1908, that had top winds of about 65 mph.

Since making landfall, Beryl has been drenching the Southeast with rainfall amounts in the 6-8 inch range so far. This has caused pockets of flooding, but it has been beneficial rain as the region has been dealing with a shortage.

As Beryl nears the coast again, it is possible it could re-intensify as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream current. 

This heat energy is what tropical systems use as fuel. Late data suggests wind speeds are up from 30 mph to 35 mph.

Once Beryl moves off shore, it should only be a worry for shipping lanes.

Locally, Beryl has helped push in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico leading to our afternoon strong t-storms. As it moves away, this activity should wind down, but not for long. 

The image to the right,   shows bright red spots in the Western Caribbean Sea, those are areas of heavy rain. 

As Beryl moves away, it will create a vacuum over us drawing in some of that moisture which could lead to more storms starting as early as Thursday and sticking around through the weekend.

Stay tuned to the very latest. By the way, Hurricane season officially starts June 1st.  We have prepared a 1 hour special, "Surviving a Storm"' full of handy tips and suggestions on how to weather the 2012 season. It will air June 1st at 8pm.

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