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Tropical Storm Beryl Forms and May Become a Hurricane

Beryl may actually become a hurricane! It's surprising even the National Hurricane Center. They are calling for it to possibly reach hurricane status in 36 hours before starting to weaken. The following is from the National Hurricane Center:

Beryl has been a bit of a surprise today, which is not uncommon for tiny tropical cyclones such as itself....It's usually difficult to get a good handle on the intensity of these types of cyclones given their small size, but data-T numbers from TAFB and SAB are a consensus T3.0. The initial intensity is therefore raised to 45 kt, but there is a lot of uncertainty in this estimate.

If the initial intensity is uncertain, the future intensity is even more of a quandary. Despite being surrounded by abundant dry air, Beryl has apparently been able to isolate itself and possibly moisten the near-storm environment while located in an area of low shear. Since the shear is expected to remain quite low for the next 36 hours or so, and small cyclones like Beryl often have a tendency to strengthen quickly over a short period of time, continued intensification appears likely for the next day or so. The updated NHC intensity forecast most closely follows the statistical-dynamical guidance, which lies at the upper end of the guidance envelope, and brings Beryl to hurricane strength within 36 hours. After that time, increasing westerly shear, partially due to Beryl accelerating toward the west, is expected to cause weakening.

Key Messages:

1. Due to its very small size, there is greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of Beryl's current intensity. Confidence in the official intensity forecast is also much lower than normal. Rapid changes in intensity, both up and down, that are difficult to predict are possible during the next couple of days.

2. While Beryl is still expected to dissipate as a tropical cyclone by Monday before reaching the Lesser Antilles, there will likely be some rain and wind impacts on those islands early next week. Residents there should monitor products from their local weather office for more information.

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