SUBTROPICAL STORM BERYL – A FIRST LOOK
It looks like the 2012 Hurricane Season is off to an early start, folks.
As of right now, SUBTROIPCAL STORM BERYL is spinning and churning in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina. So far the storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph with a minimum central pressure of 1001 mb.
Although its present movement is to the north at about eight knots, the forecast from the National Hurricane Center is calling for the storm to make a turn to the west-southwest and increase its forward speed within the next day or two. The computer models show consensus of the storm striking somewhere between northern Florida and southern Georgia by Sunday evening. However, a deep trough is expected to cause the storm to stall and then head back to the northeast and into the Atlantic Ocean once again.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting slow but additional strengthening of SUBTROPICAL STORM BERYL as it moves over warm water in the Atlantic Ocean. This strengthening will most likely upgrade the storm to TROPICAL STORM status before making landfall. Because of this forecast strengthening, the National Hurricane Center has issued a TROPICAL STORM WARNING for an area from Volusia / Brevard County, Florida north to Edisto Beach, South Carolina. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH is in effect for an area from Edisto Beach, SC to Santee River, South Carolina.
These weak tropical storms normally don’t create a whole lot of damage in this country. The gusty winds may cause some light damage to structures and other outdoor items, but the biggest threat will be from the massive amount of rainfall and possible flooding. The southeastern U.S. has been experiencing drought-like conditions all spring, and a rain even such as this WILL cause flooding problems. As much as the ground needs the water, it won’t be able to absorb it as quickly as in “normal” conditions. The result will be rapidly rising water in a relatively short period of time.
Now that we’re seeing the second named storm in the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season (it’s not even June yet), I wonder how long it’ll be until we see the first hurricane of the season. Seeing how things are going, perhaps we won’t have to wait too long.