8 p.m. update: “AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AND DOPPLER RADAR DATA INDICATE THE BERYLIS JUST BELOW HURRICANE STRENGTH WITH MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR 70 MPH…110 KM/H…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED PRIOR TO LANDFALL…BUT ANY ADDITIONAL INCREASE IN STRENGTH WOULD MAKE BERYL A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE.”
Beryl officially became a tropical storm in the last couple of hours, and it’s now a fairly impressive storm in satellite imagery.
And I’d like to think that folks along the Georgia coast, which has not been hit by a major hurricane (categories 3-5) since the 19th century, will ponder what would be happening right now if Beryl had had more favorable conditions for strengthening. As things stand now, Beryl will hit the coast (probably north Florida) around midnight tonight and weaken to a tropical depression before making a U-turn and heading northeastward back out to the Atlantic.
From the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. update: A WESTWARD MOTION
IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH LANDFALL. AFTER LANDFALL…BERYL IS EXPECTED TO MOVE SLOWLY WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AND THEN TURN NORTHWARD OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA AND SOUTHEASTERN GEORGIA ON MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT.
TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115 MILES.
The NHC has also upped its rain predictions:
RAINFALL…BERYL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES…WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES…FROM NORTHERN FLORIDA THROUGH SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
The storm is expected to make landfall at around midnight. Expect an increase in those showers becoming more squall-like – brief periods of heavy rain and strong gusty winds – during the evening hours and overnight, according to [Patrick] Prokop. [. . .]
South of Bryan County, including Liberty, McIntosh and Glynn counties – will receive the brunt of the rain and wind from Beryl, according to WTOC Meteorologist John Wetherbee. The northern edge of the storm is carrying the heaviest rains from the storm.
Trees are down down, powerlines are down, and lights are out at intersections in area such as 39th and Ogeechee Road, according to Chatham Emergency Management Agency.
The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has closed the Savannah River to inbound and outbound vessels due to strong winds, according to CEMA. The port in Brunswick closed at 9 a.m. Sunday.
Here’s the latest 3-day forecast track from the NHC:
If you’re interested in the history of major hurricanes (categories 3-5) making landfall on the Georgia coast, click here. (Again, TS Beryl is not expected to reach hurricane strength.)