05 July 2024

Tropical Storm Beryl about to enter Gulf of Mexico

After its very close and destructive encounter with Jamaica on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane, Bery weakened just slightly and tracked south of the Cayman Islands on Thursday at Category 3 intensity.  Then on Friday morning, it made landfall near Cozumel and Tulum at Category 2 intensity.  As of Friday afternoon, the intensity had decreased further to a tropical storm.

It will spend less than a day over land, then enter the Gulf of Mexico where it's expected to reintensify after the inland decay. How quickly it reorganizes will play a role in where it ends up for its final landfall.  A weaker storm exiting the Yucatan is more likely to stay further south, while a stronger storm is more likely to turn north, easily putting central Texas at risk... even eastern Texas has plenty of ensemble members near it.  At this point, the most likely still looks to be in the Brownsville to Corpus Christi span, but the trend has definitely been creeping northward, so keep a very close eye on updated forecasts.

As of now, there are no watches or warnings for the Gulf coast of mainland Mexico or Texas, but those should come later this evening or early Saturday.

And it's worth being aware that while the official forecast brings Beryl back up to Category 1 hurricane intensity by landfall, a stronger hurricane is not out of the question given Beryl's resilient and overachieving history. And as always, heavy rainfall will be a significant threat over a large area along the storm track:

I shared some preliminary NHC track and intensity verification stats on social media... spanning forecasts made through Friday morning:
Although NHC did correctly forecast rapid intensification, which is a notable achievement, Beryl blew past even those aggressive forecasts, so their intensity forecasts are overall biased low so far.  But the track forecasts have had very low error compared to their own 5-year average.

Looking at the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) so far this season, Beryl has contributed A LOT... more than any other season on record had by this date.  In fact, if Beryl disappeared right now and nothing else formed, 2024 would finally catch up to climatology on August 30!  (I wouldn't recommend betting that nothing will form until August 30.)

After Beryl, the basin looks quiet for a while.

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