TD 2 Quickly Strengthens Into Tropical Storm Beryl

Tropical Depression 2 which was designated earlier on Thursday quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Beryl.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Beryl was located at latitude 10.3°N and longitude 42.8°W which put it about 1295 miles (2080 km) east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles.  Beryl was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

The circulation of very small Tropical Storm Beryl organized very quickly on Thursday afternoon.  There was evidence of a tiny eye on some microwave satellite images.  A small tight ring of thunderstorms surrounded the center of circulation and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several short bands of thunderstorms were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Storms near the core of Beryl were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Beryl will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next day or two.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 26.5°C.  There is cooler water north of the expected track of Beryl, which would limit intensification if the tropical storm wobbles toward the north.  An upper level ridge north of Tropical Storm Beryl will generate easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  The wind speed is similar at all level and the vertical wind shear will be modest.  Small tropical cyclones can intensify or weaken rapidly.  Beryl is likely strengthen on Friday and it could intensify into a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Beryl was moving south of the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high was steering Beryl toward the west.  A general motion toward the west-northwest is forecast during the next two to three days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Beryl could be east of the Lesser Antilles on Sunday.