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New storm in the Atlantic

Posted at 8:30 AM, May 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-26 22:40:20-04

The Atlantic’s second named storm of the year, Beryl (pronounced like barrel), formed around 11 p.m. Friday evening off the southeastern coast of the United States. 

Beryl formed from an area of disturbed weather between Florida and the Bahamas that had been present the last few days.  Beryl has been classified as a subtropical storm, which means it has some, but not all, of the characteristics of a full-fledged tropical storm.  It should become a full tropical storm over the next 24 hours. 

Here is what is called a “spaghetti plot” — which is a plot of the forecast track by various computer models.  Since each model comes up with at least a slightly different solution, when you plot all of them on one map, it resembles spaghetti (albeit colored spaghetti).

The consensus shows that the storm will make landfall near the Georgia/Florida border, then slowly move northeast through the southeastern states.  It will weaken to a tropical depression once inland, but it will dump heavy rainfall across Florida, Georgia and parts of coastal South & North Carolina.  Some rainfall totals during this period will exceed 4″, and isolated areas could see over 8″ of rainfall.  It should emerge off the coast of North Carolina on Wednesday, and will most likely regain a weak tropical storm status. 

If this track verifies, the Outer Banks will see gusty winds and some moderate to heavy rainfall Tuesday night into Wednesday.  The impact to the shoreline will be more pronounced, as waves will build to over six feet.

Local impact for Virginia will be minimal, but some showers will be possible Wednesday and Wednesday night.  The steadier rainfall with the system will stay southeast of the state.  Waves will increase along the coastline during this period as well.

You can always keep tabs on the tropics with the CBS 6 Hurricane Tracker.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but this is a general period for the season.  It is not unusual for some storms to occur outside of the official season.  However, history was made last week when a named storm developed in both the Atlantic (Alberto) and the Pacific (Aletta) before their respective seasons began.  This has never occurred in weather record history.