Subtropical Storm Beryl develops 5/26/2012
Good morning and welcome to my tropical weather update for Saturday, May 26th, 2012. The tropics are awake and for the first time since 1908, we now have our second pre-season named storm. Subtropical Storm Beryl as of the 11 a.m. EDT advisory was located at 31.6°N 76.3°W, maximum sustained winds are at 45mph and the minimum pressure is at 1001mb. Satellite reveals a system with minimal convection, with most of it confined to spiral banding around a very tight and vertically stacked center of circulation. This system on satellite is very reminiscent of Subtropical Storm Andrea.
(figure 1. Subtropical Storm Beryl as of 11 AM EDT)
Where will Beryl go and how strong will it get?
Beryl is stuck between two highs that is causing a very unusual direction, this is the same setup that caused Alberto to come back towards the US coast as a minimal system. Instead of being ejected out to sea, the ridge is causing Beryl to stall out then move back SW towards the SE United States - a place that is in absolutely desperate need for rainfall. Beryl should make landfall on late Sunday evening or early Monday morning around Jacksonville, Florida. After that, things get tricky. The majority of the models are predicting that a trough will force Beryl after moving inland to retrograde back over Florida and head out over the Atlantic and out to sea. This is being reflected in the latest NHC path.
(figure 2. 06z dynamic model forecast)
The intensity forecast is a little bit more problematic, right now Beryl is not organized as the deep convection is limited and confined to outer bands. However, Beryl is going to be moving over the warmer waters of the Gulf stream shortly, that and with the reduced windshear, Beryl could be able to gain some more convection to allow for a stronger system later. The NHC is predicting a 50mph TS at landfall in N. Florida. I would say that is a fair bet, the real problem for real intensification is if Beryl decides to become a fully Tropical Storm or not. If Beryl decides to re-emerge over the Atlantic, it is possible that it could obtain a higher intensity as shear will be lower and dry air less of an issue.
(figure 3. Latest intensity forecast for Subtropical Storm Beryl)
I will be back later today or tomorrow with another update.