Bye-bye "Beryl"! The tropical cyclone is headed back over the Atlantic acclerating E/NE over the open Atlantic. The last advisory from the NHC will probably be the day before -- or right on -- the start of the "official" hurricane season -- June 1st.
So....how 'bout a little Beryl "debrief"?:
I'll begin with the forecast models. These days there are literally dozens. I'll choose from about 5 that I typically use (not including "consensus" or ensemble): (all forecasts from Sat. morning, 12Z  model run)...reality was Jax Beach @ 12:10am Mon., 05/28 - ~994mb though "official" call so far from the NHC is 992mb
** GFS (American model) -- had landfall at 6-7pm Sun., Ponte Vedra - 1006mb
** EUROPEAN -- landfall 5-6am Mon., St. Marys, Ga. - 996mb
** NAM (American mesoscale) -- landfall 7-9am Sun. - 1012mb open wave
** NOGAPS (Navy model) -- landfall 3-4pm Sun. @ Jax - 1010mb transitioning to open wave
** CANADIAN -- landfall 3-4pm Sun. @ St. Marys - 1011mb
I also typically use the UKMET but chose not to for this storm. The HWRF & GFDL models specifically developed for tropical cyclones look to be struggling yet again.
So....from a strength standpoint, the EURO wins hands down -- in the short term. However, the EURO did not do well at all in the longer range -- 4-7 days out showing either little development or too far to the east. Was a little too slow on landfall.
The GFS was too weak but did an excellent job on pinpointing development & pretty darn good job on track. A little too fast but was hinting for many days -- up to nearly 2 weeks -- on tropical development.
The NOGAPS did well with storm #1 - "Alberto" but was pretty lost on "Beryl" -- way too weak & way too fast.
The CANADIAN was similar -- too weak, too fast + too far north.
The NAM did some flip-flopping but in the 12Z Sat. model run, it was of little use -- extremely fast with landfall & way too weak.
Studying the model performances can help when forecasting future development through the hurricane season.
Some general Beryl "nuggets":
* Peak measured wind gust in the viewing area: 73 mph at Mayport Sun. evening ... 58 mph at Arlington (Craig Field)....60 mph at NAS Jax...57 mph at JIA
* Rainfall has averaged 3-6" but some places have had as much as 7+" (see the First Alert Doppler HD estimates below)
JIA: 5.73" including 2.83" Tue., a daily record for May 29th (2.65"/1972)
Southside, Jax: 5.15"
Fleming Island: 6"
Dixie Union, Ga.: 3.5"
St. Simons Isl: 3.31"
* Seas & surf are calming down -- sea/surf & beaches become a much more pleasant place again Wed.-Fri. But beware of little "canyons" nearshore carved by the crashing waves of past days.
* "Beryl" is the first landfalling May tropical cyclone on our (NE Fl./SE Ga.) soil -- & earliest landfalling storm ever -- going back to 1851
* First direct landfall of a tropical cyclone since "Tammy", Oct. 2005 at Mayport (weak storm that did dump 6"+ rain near the coast but little wind or any other serious weather hazards)
* This is the first time since 1887 that 2 named storms have developed in the Atlantic Basin in the month of May
* This year is the first year ever that a preseason named storm developed in the same year in both the Atlantic Basin & E. Pacific Basin
* This is the first year ever that 4 named storms have occurred before June 1 in both the Atlantic & E. Pacific Basin
Lots of enquiring minds since the weekend.....here's a sample of some of the most frequently asked questions followed by my answer:
1) do 2 preseason storms mean a busy hurricane season?
No - not necessarily. In fact, there are hints of a possible El Nino later in the year. If an El Nino develops, the last part of the season could be cut short. A quick start to the season was not too surprising. The sea surface temps. -- especially closer to the coast (where both "Alberto" & "Beryl" developed -- are unusually warm unusually early....the La Nina is -- though weak -- is still evident....some forecast models hinted at develop as far back as May 12-14th. If one looks at the positive vertical velocity anomalies, there was an overwhelming signal that we could have development late in May (see blog post from Thu., May 24th).
2) if "Beryl" had 70 mph sustained winds, why didn't we have 70 mph winds?
those 70 mph winds were measured using dropsondes east of the center (by 50+ miles) over open water & estimated at the surface. Given the relatively unorganized nature of the storm + the fact that the First Coast would first get hit by the west side of the storm, so it would be weakening by the east side moved overhead....all added up to sustained winds far less than advisory sustained winds determined by hurricane hunter aircraft. We also have to consider the effect of friction over land which usually serves to reduce winds upon landfall. I took this into account for my forecasts all the way into Sun .night.
3) is the busy early season caused by global warming?
NO. In fact, data indicates that global tropical cyclone numbers are down over the past 15-20 yrs. or so.
4) why did the winds calm down as "Beryl" moved overhead?
the center of tropical cyclones have a lack of wind (eye in a hurricane) due to upward motion through the center of the storm which then rapidly drops to the ground around the center helping cause the high winds outside of the center/eye.
5) why were the strongest winds at the coast & in Nassau Co.?
at the coast because the east winds were coming directly off the ocean & not impeded much yet by friction. In Nassau Co. because of where landfall occurred. Since the storm was not tightly wound, the highest winds were not very near the center (like hurricane & the eyewall) but rather somewhat removed to the north/northeast. This quadrant does typically have the strongest winds & greatest storm surge but in "Beryl" the highest was 20-40 miles north of the center because of the storm's structure. I should also mention that the far west side of Jax & areas west & south did not get as strong of winds because they were in the weaker south & west quadrants.
6) what caused "Beryl" to turn around & now head back out to sea?
The jet stream is now the steering mechanism for "Beryl". As an upper level trough moves into the Eastern Ohio Valley & eventually Eastern U.S. dragging a surface cold front into the S.E. U.S., the upper level winds will "carry" the trop. cyclone east & northeast. Conversely....an upper level ridge built over the S.E. U.S. over the weekend which steered "Beryl" southwest then west from the Atlantic.
7) when did we last have a May tropical storm hit our coast?
8) when did we last have a named storm make landfall on our coast?
"Tammy" - Oct., 2005 ("Fay" made landfall in Flagler County but did cause widespread flooding across the First Coast as well as a few tornadoes).
9) how many preseason storms have formed in the Atlantic?
26 going back to 1851 (1 every 6 years)
10) why did the Weather Channel & some other media outlets predict 80 mph winds & stronger which never happened?
I'm not sure on that one...I can only speculate. I'm guessing they didn't take into account the friction of land & the fact that the 70 mph winds were well east of the center. I'm hoping there wasn't an attempt to hype the storm. I will say the NHC & our Jax N.W.S. did a good job on "Beryl" with an excellent forecast on storm surge. TWC was off on their expected landfall as crews were first dispatched to Brunswick/St. Simons Isl. - too far north. Though they did manage to scramble & get a crew to Jax Beach.
11) how much sleep did you get over the weekend????
Not much. I had about 9 hours from when I got up Sat. morning to 2am Tue. morning.
Time for some more pic's. The first 5 are from Tue. - a day with some interesting & beautiful clouds/skies. The first one is from Lisa Driver as the sun was setting & t'storms were building to the north -- S'side, Jax....#2 & #3 are from Mike Rosset in Mandarin - gorgeous sunset & textbook mammatus clouds...#4 is from Rebecca Rossi as storms moved off the coast...#5 is a double rainbow from Frankie.
Then we have "Beryl" photos from Sun.-Mon: The first two from Krystal Kerr at St. Vincent's Medical Center, King St....3rd one is from Roberta Tootle, Brunswick where a tree fell on her daughter's house rendering the home uninhabitable...#4 is from Laura in Kingsland, Ga...#5 from Derwin Westbrook in Mandarin & #6 from Kat Easterling, San Marco.