Beryl’s Rain Begins AlreadyMay 30th, 2012 at 9:11 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
We had some heavy downpours across the region already this morning. Some of it was caused by the high humidity and the dropping pressure, but there were also some rain bands coming off of Beryl. Here was the view from about 7:45am this morning. Notice the pockets of heavy rain moving through North Carolina:
Beryl is still a tropical depression with winds of 35mph, but it looked like it was already heading out to sea. This will let the system gain some strength, and could become a tropical storm by the next update. Remember, the cutoff is 39mph. The storm is likely to move along the North Carolina coast and head east/northeast. It is expected to pass south of Hatteras late today into this evening:
The computer models have trended a little farther south with the storm, and the official track has also shifted south. Looking at the latest trends, I think Beryl will move even farther from Hatteras, but we’ll see. This may be indicated in the later morning update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Here are the latest track models:
Note too that the strongest winds are typically to the right of the storms motion. In this case that would be south of the storm and offshore. So the only folks that could see wind gusts over 40mph would be near Hatteras. That is shown wind the wind contour forecast from NHC.
Notice that the tropical storm force winds (orange area above) remain south of Hatteras, and that is based off of the latest track. So there will be no wind impacts for almost all of the viewing area from Beryl, except for a few strong gusts near Hatteras and Buxton. That is unless Beryl ends up taking a curve northeast later this evening. The increasing winds are starting to churn up the Atlantic waters again. So there will be a high threat for rip currents down towards Hatteras. A Moderate threat elsewhere.
The big story from this is going to be the rain. The bulk of the rain has been to the east and north of the center of the storm in the last 6 hours:
As the system moves east-northeast, that will bring the semicircle of widespread heavy rain right into northeast North Carolina. Possibly up to the southside. The models have bee pretty consistent in showing the heaviest band of rain running right through northeast North Carolina. A flood watch is posted for Dare county, NC down to Hatteras. This may get extended farther north later this morning, but we’ll see. I know northeast North Carolina has already had a lot of rain in the last month. My weather watcher Greg in Currituck has said repeatedly that they do not need rainfall. If we get some of the downpours that are forecast, then some crops could be in trouble. Based off of the latest models and forecasts I am calling for a swath of 2-4″ of rain over Northeast North Carolina up to southern Virginia Beach. A band of 1-3″ for the heart of the metro. Then up to 1″ of rain from Northampton county through Yorktown up to the Northern Neck.
This is a rough outline of what we can expect, but it’t not like a snow forecast. Some of these bands can produce heavy rain in a small area. So locally there may be higher amounts, and it could be in clusters. The good thing is that we will get some rain where we need it in the recently dry areas.
We will see ponding on roadways. We will probably see some street flooding. We will not see any tidal flooding as the winds won’t be too strong, and there won’t be much of a fetch anyway. Plus, the moon is in waxing gibbous phase which is not conducive to tidal flooding anyway.
By tonight Beryl will be moving past Hatteras and heading out to sea. A cold front will move in and help to clear us out for tomorrow. Then we’ll see some more rain move in late Friday into Saturday morning. This will be from a big Midwest low (non-tropical) that will swing a pretty potent cold front through. The good news is that Saturday afternoon into Sunday is looking good with clearing skies and less humidity. I won’t mind that one bit.
All-in-all we should be fine with this storm. However, there will be a few areas of flooding that could impact travel. If it really comes down, then a few homes and businesses could get some water in them. We’ll have to nowcast that later today though. Stay tuned!
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler