Right off the top I want to emphasize that Beryl is far from us today, and it will barely have any impacts on our region. The only real impact is that it will keep the threat for rip currents along the Outer Banks of North Carolina at a moderate risk. Beryl is over 500 miles from Hampton Roads. It made landfall last night near Jacksonville, Beach Florida. Estimated winds at the time were around 70mph upon landfall. Winds have weakened since then.
As expected high pressure and weak steering currents have pushed Beryl southwest into Florida and Georgia. Luckily this area is in an exceptional drought (level 5 out of 5). So while they may have too much rain-too soon, the long term effect will be beneficial. An upper level trough and a surface cold front will begin to move out of the Midwest into the southeast by tomorrow. This will begin to affect Beryl’s motion and start to send it east-northeast. Since it is over land, the system is expected to weaken to a depression by tonight or early tomorrow. However, we can’t write it off just yet. Beryl will keep moving parallel to the southeast coast. It may move over land for most of the time as a weak system, or it may move back over the ocean for a bit giving it a small boost in strength. Either way it will approach the coast of North Carolina by late Wednesday into Thursday.
Notice that Beryl is a minimal tropical storm as it possibly passes south of Hatteras according to the latest official forecast. I can’t see it strengthening too much as the upper level winds will be working on the system at that time. It really depends on how soon it moves back over the water. If it stays over land, then it would likely remain a depression, and may even get absorbed into the front. The models aren’t in complete agreement, but they do generally send it in a path parallel to the coast.
Regardless of which of the above tracks it takes, there will be a potential for heavy rain in the region by Wednesday. In fact the latest forecast from HPC (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) shows about 2-4″ of rain over the southern Outer Banks.
So this will be something to monitor over the next 2 days.
For now we have to focus on today’s heat and humidity. We do usually get some decent warm-ups around here this time of year, but we usually don’t have this much humidity. Skies started out with partly to mostly cloudy skies, but they will become partly cloudy this afternoon with highs in the upper 80s. There will be a few 90s inland. The heat index will be between 90-95. That will affect folks who are at the Memorial Day ceremonies, especially if they are in full uniform. Take it easy and drink plenty of fluids if that pertains to you. Find shade if you can. Otherwise, if you are not going to a ceremony, then a good place to go will be the beaches to cool off. There will be a low threat for rip currents at Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore, but there will be a moderate threat along the Outer Banks. Possibly a high threat near and south of Hatteras.
Enjoy the day, and don’t forget why we have this holiday.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler