Beryl becomes Post-Tropical as it exits North Carolina


Tropical Storm Beryl sitting along the North Carolina Coast shortly before being re-classified as a Post-Tropical Cyclone by the National Hurricane Center. NASA MODIS Satellite Imagery May 30th 2012.

The National Hurricane Center has determined that Tropical Storm Beryl has become ‘Post-Tropical’ – the transition stage between a Tropical Cyclone and an Extra-Tropical Cyclone. (See latest advisory.)

Although over 15 inches of rain fell in some parts of North Florida and Southern Georgia, there no reports of major flooding due to the extreme-exceptional drought that had been plaguing the region. However, flooding in South and North Carolina was more significant because of the higher soil moisture from more regular rains. There were two reported tornadoes from Beryl, one in Florida and one in North Carolina – both did some roof and property damage. Damage from the storm’s sustained winds was limited mainly to tree damage and localized power outages.

Flooding rains are clearing up, storm surges are abating, and winds are decreasing in North Carolina as ex-Beryl moves further from the coast. At its peak this afternoon, a Buoy at Hatteras, NC reported sustained winds of 47mph gusting to 55mph, a pressure of 997mb, and a storm surge of 2.54ft.

This is much less significant than what was reported near Beryl’s initial landfall in Florida where gusts over 70mph and a storm surge approaching 4ft was recorded. Additionally, North Carolina was hit by Hurricane Irene last year and so a lot of the weaker trees and power poles were already taken out and replaced, whereas north Florida hadn’t had such a severe storm for decades (the last time a stronger storm hit the region was Hurricane Dora 1964). Beryl is the strongest storm to make a United States landfall in the month of May. 

There is room for additional strengthening of Beryl as the storm becomes more extra-tropical, and gains strength from the difference in airmasses either side of it. Currently, based on observations from North Carolina buoy’s and the last National Hurricane Center Advisory, ex-Beryl has top sustained winds of about 45mph near its center.

Beryl, as a Post-Tropical Cyclone will move further out into the open Atlantic and become fully extra-tropical. As it does this, it is expected to drag a cold front across Bermuda on Thursday evening or night. This could contain squally thunderstorms due to the characteristic difference in airmasses; drier continental air behind the front versus moist tropical air out ahead.

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