Wind gust to nearly 60 mph 50 miles northeast of St. Augustine..."Beryl" has organized & strengthened some & will reach the First Coast tonight... system on schedule & on course...
"Beryl" has made the expected transition to a pure tropical cyclone & now has decent banding features & a somewhat tighter circulation probably thanks to its transit over the gulf stream and weakening shear. Satellite & radar data do show the storm becoming better organized with some of the convective bands wrapping around the center. A large area of very strong/heavy convection has developed over the eastern semicircle with a narrow band of convection from near the NE Fl. coast feeding into the center via a curled route from the west & southwest. Still...time is running out for any major organization/strengthening given the broad center & lack of winds near the center in addition to cooler shelf waters now ahead of the storm. Critical deep oceanic heat content will also be lacking. Having said that....a moderate tropical storm will make landfall tonight on the First Coast. At 1:08pm sustained winds of 42 mph with gusts to 56 mph were measured at the St, Augustine buoy which is 50 miles northeast of St. Augustine.
** Rain & t'storms will increase as "Beryl" approaches late today & especially tonight into Memorial Day. An initial band of heavy rain & storms developed early this afternoon on the periphery of the circulation near & west of I-95. Though transient in nature, the convection will produce brief heavy rain & gusty wind as it rolls west/southwest. Rainfall will average 3-6" through early Tue. with locally 6-10" amounts. Even more heavy rain will be possible much of the rest of the week.
** The rip current risk at area beaches will be very high & winds will pick up with time today to 15-30 mph with higher gusts over land....20-35 mph with gusts 40+ mph near & offshore. Winds will be even stronger east of the center (from some sort of southerly direction) late tonight & Monday. Expect a noticeable lull in the winds tonight-early Mon. as Beryl's broad center moves nearby. Stay out of the ocean! Seas will be double digit - 10-15 feet....dangerous surf 8-13 feet. Storm surge flooding of1-3 feet above the ground, especially at hight tide.
** There will also be at least an isolated tornado risk near & north & east of the center with the highest threat middle of the night tonight into Monday.
The center of "Beryl" should be approaching the coast -- probably within 50 miles of Jacksonville -- by late evening/overnight tonight. Realize that heavy rain bands & gusty winds will extend far from the center so don't get too caught up in where the center is or is expected to go....not to mention the dangerous surf conditions.
So for NE Florida & SE Georgia & metro Jax...
"Beryl" will move ashore +/- 50 miles of Jax Beach/Ponte Vedra tonight - a little either way of midnight or so.
Today: Increasing clouds with a few showers & storms developing...breezy to windy north winds by afternoon. If "Beryl" remains lopsided with most of the heavy convection (thunderstorms) in the northern & northeast quadrant -- which is not at all uncommon with disorganized systems -- then showers & storms will be more scattered & tied to surface heating this afternoon/early evening before increasing area wide late tonight/Monday..
Tonight-Monday: Showers & t'storms becoming widespread with heavy rain at times. Isolated tornado threat near & north & east of the center. Windy with rough seas & surf & a very high rip current risk.
What to do now:
* STAY CALM *
* secure any outdoor items that might blow around
* clean the gutters of your home
* have some batteries handy
* clean/remove debris on or near storm drains on your street
* tune in CBS47 &/or FOX30(!).......
Realize that while a major inconvenience, this storm should not cripple the First Coast. There will be some downed trees & power lines and it could take a while for utility companies to restore power due to persistent wind & heavy rain. Still...virtually all public facilities should be able to function through the storm and be open right after the holiday on Tuesday. If you do decide to venture out tonight & Monday, you'll be able to get around but be very cautious. And you should be aware of the inherent risks associated with land falling tropical systems (flooding, debris, isolated tornadoes, etc.)
From what I've been able to dig up, it looks like this year is the first year since 1887 that 2 tropical storms have formed in the month of May in the same year in the Atlantic Basin.
Interesting sidenote -- 2 hurricanes formed in 1908 -- May 24th & also in March(!). According to "Weather Underground"....26 tropical cyclones formed in the Atlantic Basin before the official start of the season since 1851. Only 5 of those storms managed to become hurricanes - 1 "major" -- "Able" & only 1 of the hurricanes affected the U.S. -- May 24th, 1908 on the Outer Banks of N. Carolina.
May 31, 2008: Tropical Storm Arthur (formed very near midnight June 1st)
May 6, 2007: Subtropical Storm Andrea
April 18, 2003: Tropical Storm Ana
April 21, 1992: Subtropical Storm 1
May 6, 1981: Tropical Storm Arlene
January 18, 1978: Subtropical Storm 1
May 21, 1976: Subtropical Storm 1
May 23, 1972: Subtropical Storm Alpha
May 17, 1970: Hurricane Alma (Category 1)
May 28, 1959: Tropical Storm Arlene
February 2, 1953: Tropical Storm Alice
May 25, 1952: Tropical Storm 1
May 15, 1951: Hurricane Able (Category 3)
May 22, 1948: Tropical Storm 1
May 19, 1940: Tropical Storm 1
May 27, 1934: Tropical Storm 1
May 14, 1933: Tropical Storm 1
May 5, 1932: Tropical Storm 1
May 13, 1916: Tropical Storm 1
May 24, 1908: Hurricane 2 (Category 1)
March 6, 1908: Hurricane 1 (Category 2)
May 27, 1890: Tropical Storm 1
May 16, 1889: Hurricane 1 (Category 1)
May 17, 1887: Tropical Storm 2
May 15, 1887: Tropical Storm 1
May 30, 1865: Tropical Storm 1
Click here to see wave height forecasts.....click here for a web briefing from our Jax N.W.S.