Tropical Storm Beryl

TS Beryl Predicted to Reach Hurricane Strength within 24 Hours

6/29/24 1:30PM and updated at 3PM – Overnight, a tropical depression in the Atlantic turned into a tropical storm named Beryl. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicted Beryl would intensify into a hurricane by Sunday morning. But it reached hurricane strength by approximately 3PM today. NHC now predicts, Beryl will become a category 3 major hurricane before reaching the Windward Islands.

Some models predict it could even turn into a category 4 hurricane as it tracks through the Caribbean. While it is generally headed toward the Gulf, the exact track remains uncertain this far out.

Beryl is one of the earliest hurricanes ever in the Atlantic. For advisories related to Beryl, see this page on the NHC site.

Meanwhile two other areas of concern are developing. One now over the Yucatan has a 50% chance of development. The other west of Africa has a 70% chance as of Saturday, 6/29/24 at 3PM CDT.

On top of all these storms, the Trinity River Authority has put the Lake Livingston Dam on “potential failure watch.”

Beryl Track

Beryl will continue west for the next 2-3 days. The storm’s strength will affect its track according to Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner. Intensity will determine Beryl’s ability to fight high pressure to the north. The stronger it becomes, the farther north it will curve. The less it intensifies, the farther west it will track.

“At this point it is too early to determine the eventual longer term movement beyond the western Caribbean Sea,” cautions Lindner.

National Hurricane Center cone of uncertainty for Beryl shows it becoming a major hurricane by Monday 7/1/24.
Most models predict a path toward the Gulf.
Different combinations of models take Beryl in slightly different directions.

Beryl Intensity Forecasts

Lindner says that “conditions appear unusually favorable for this time of year and location for development.” Regional hurricane models (HWRF, HOMN, HAFSA, and HAFB) all show significant deepening of this system prior to reaching the Windward Islands. Well above-normal Atlantic water temperatures and low upper-level shear support continued development.

“The main question,” says Lindner, “is how quickly can Beryl form an inner core today or tonight and what potential is the upper end limit on intensification through the Islands?”‘

Satellite Photo from 11:20 AM Houston time, 6/29/24. Beryl is in right-hand circle.

Most models predict a 65 knot wind-speed increase in the next 72 hours. That far exceeds what climatology would suggest for this area for this time of year.

This morning, NHC forecasts a 110mph category 2 hurricane hitting the Windward Islands. They cautioned that their estimate might needed to be increased within the next 12-24 hours. But they increased it within six. By its 2 PM update, NHC predicted Beryl would reach major hurricane status before reaching the Windward Islands.

As Beryl moves deeper into the Caribbean Sea, wind sheer and dry air west of the storm could limit further intensification.

Lindner feels that Day 4-5 wind shear forecasts are not always reliable and the weakening trend shown on the right above may be somewhat overdone.

Another Storm Will Cross Gulf and Head into Mexico

A strong tropical wave over the western Caribbean Sea has reached the eastern coast of the Yucatan and Belize. See the left hand circle in the satellite photo above.

A large area of deep convection has formed. Land interaction and westerly wind shear will inhibit immediate development. However, there may be a brief window for modest development in the southern Gulf of Mexico Sunday/Monday. Then the storm should move inland over eastern Mexico. Current development odds remain around 50%.

Third Storm has 70% Chance of Formation in Atlantic

NHC indicates that a third storm will likely form in the same area where Beryl is now. See the elongated oval below.

This tropical wave is currently located several hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It is showing signs of organization. Another tropical depression or storm may form by the middle part of next week as this wave moves westward along a similar track as Beryl. Chances for development over the next several days are 70%.   

Lake Livingston Dam on Failure Watch

With all this activity in the tropics, it is somewhat disconcerting that the Trinity River Authority has placed the Lake Livingston Dam on a “Potential Failure Watch” due to recent heavy rainfall and flooding.

TRA says the dam is in no immediate danger of failing or breaching. They also say that day-to-day operations will continue, but “gate operations will vary based on conditions.” Translation: They’ll be releasing more water faster in the event of more heavy rainfall.

Look out below.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/29/24 and updated at 3PM

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