Beryl’s Flooding RainMay 29th, 2012 at 9:02 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Beryl has been sitting and spinning over Georgia for over 12 hours now. In that time it has put down some heavy rain. Doppler estimates from the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Fl were over 7inches, and the rain was still coming down. There were several flash flood warnings down there this morning:
The official wind speed was 30mph, but you can see some of the sites in the graphic above were much less than that. I think this is a good example of what we can expect as Beryl moves closer to us in the next 36 hours. Today Beryl will stay well south of us, but lots of tropical moisture and a weakening area of high pressure will lead to some pop-up showers and storms in the local forecast. By this afternoon Beryl is expected to start a slow northeast movement which will send it along the southeast coast. There is a high confidence in that part of the forecast. Back to the local for a second…We will see highs in the upper 80s with a couple of 90s inland. The heat index will be between 90-95. Yesterday, folks got to hit the pool or at least go inside if they had the day off. Folks that work outside today will have to take it easy and drink plenty of fluids.
Tomorrow Beryl will be on the move. It will travel right along the southeast U.S. coast, and is likely to move offshore for a period of time. The sooner it gets offshore, the stronger it can get. However, the water temperatures are not primed to make Beryl explode as they are only in the 70s. Typically for hurricane growth you need water temperatures of at least 80 degrees or warmer. So at this point little strengthening is forecast.
If it follows the most likely path (center line above) then the strongest winds would stay south of or right near Hatteras. This is due to the fact that stronger winds typically exist to the right of the path of motion. Which in this case will be south of the storm. If the storm moves a little farther north (over land), then it will be a weaker system and would probably remain a depression. So I don’t think wind will be the main threat from this storm. The forecast track models are in fairly good agreement that it will track along the coast. A couple take it more over land which, again will keep the system weaker if that happens.
As Beryl moves northeast it is going to encounter a cold front coming out of the Midwest. This will channel the moisture right overtop of our viewing area. Especially over northeast North Carolina. The models all show heavy rain in the region with the GFS model indicating a bulls-eye just north of the center of the storm. In the last run it brought the bulls-eye up from the southern Outer Banks right into Hampton Roads down to Elizabeth City. The latest forecast from HPC (a branch of NOAA) has about 2-4 inches of rain in a strip that runs right along the coast south of Hatteras:
Some of the models are showing the heavier rain along the front compared to near Beryl. Either way I think anywhere from Norfolk down to Hatteras could see 2-3 inches with a few areas getting 4-6″. For now the most likely area for those higher amounts are in the flood watch which has been posted for Dare county NC down to Hatteras:
This flood watch may get extended farther north later today. The cold front will move through early on Thursday and will help to knock Beryl out to sea. It’s possible that it will slow down a bit though. That would create heavier rain and farther north, this may be what the models are starting to trend towards, but we’ll see. We will dry out on Thursday, but then another system (non-tropical) in the Midwest will grow and move east. This will bring us a chance for rain Friday into Saturday. Then a stronger cold front will move through and give us some more refreshing air on Sunday.
Stay tuned for the latest updates on this storm. Remember, the thing to look for is for the area of the flood watch to possibly change. This will not be tidal flooding. In fact, I don’t expect any tidal flooding with the current track of the storm. Rip currents aren’t a big threat today, but the threat will increase at least for the Outer Banks tomorrow.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler