Tropical Storm Beryl forms in Atlantic
UPDATE: The depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Beryl by the National Hurricane Center at 2:30 p.m. By 5 p.m., forecasters were predicting that Beryl would become the season’s first hurricane on Saturday morning. Nevertheless, they continue to expect dissipation by Monday as it rolls over the Lesser Antilles. Forecast tracks, meanwhile, have shifted south into the Caribbean. (Image credit: NHC)
The season’s second tropical depression formed in the Central Atlantic Thursday and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predicted it would become the second named storm of the year by Friday. But they said it would be short-lived due to high wind shear near the Lesser Antilles. They predicted dissipation by Monday. “Even though the cyclone is expected to dissipate east of the Lesser Antilles early next week, the remnant tropical wave will continue moving quickly westward, likely bringing locally heavy rains and gusty winds to portions of the Leeward Islands on Sunday and Monday,” Hurricane Specialist Robbie Berg said in the storm’s first forecast discussion.
‘VERY UNLIKELY’: The National Weather Service sums up the potential threat posed to Florida by Invest 95L in the Atlantic by noting that major forecast models call for the system to dissipate once it reaches the Lesser Antilles. Early Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center was giving the disturbance a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression — or possibly Tropical Storm Beryl — as it moves west-northwest in the Central Atlantic. A second low south of Bermuda had a 30-40 percent chance of developing as it moves toward the north. If both would develop, the next name on the 2018 list is Chris.
Nature went toe-to-toe with fireworks displays on Wednesday as an upper level low whipped up strong storms accompanied by a lightning show that lasted through the evening hours.
Thunderstorms ripped across Florida’s East Coast in the early morning hours of Thursday, too, dumping as much as 1.77 inches of rain in West Palm Beach.
Southwest Florida was hammered on the holiday, with Fort Myers officially picking up 3.56 inches. Tampa reported 1.47 inches and inland, in Hendry County, an observer reported 2.32 inches to the National Weather Service in Miami.
East-Central Florida saw some soakers as well. Parts of Putnam County and Brevard County were hit with around 2.5 inches of rain.
Thursday was expected to be a carbon copy of Wednesday, with afternoon storms slamming South Florida and Central Florida.
Starting on Sunday, there’s a potential for “a slightly drier air mass” to take control in South Florida, NWS forecasters said in their Thursday morning analysis from Miami. They noted that tropical waves moving in from the Atlantic could push rain chances back above normal again next week.
Although it seems likely that 95L will get dismantled by strong wind shear near the Lesser Antilles, the GFS suggests that some of the moisture associated with it could eventually wash into the Florida peninsula.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for normal levels of precipitation in Florida from July 10-18.