NEW TROPICAL DEPRESSION (#3) FORMS; HURRICANE BERYL REMAINS TINY… Please digest this very important headline before we talk more: Neither Hurricane Beryl nor Tropical Depression #3 (soon-to-be Tropical Storm Chris, most likely) are expected to affect Alabama or northwest Florida. Beryl is a compact, small hurricane currently moving toward the Lesser Antilles and newly-formed Tropical Depression #3 is off the coast of North Carolina and will likely move out to sea in the days ahead. I know there are many folks interested in the tropics around our area, and this update is specifically for you.
OUTRAGEOUS HEADLINES… Since this morning, I’ve seen probably 10 or more live streams on Facebook with headlines designed to bait folks into clicking them. “Beryl moves toward Southeastern United States,” “Hurricane Beryl Strengthens Again,” and so forth. While those two things are technically true, they fail to paint the big picture and provide the critical context that we need. The fact is Hurricane Beryl will likely be ripped apart in the eastern Caribbean Sea in 3-4 days. Atmospheric shear will drastically increase this weekend, causing the system to dramatically weaken to the point of complete dissipation.
HURRICANE BERYL REMAINS TINY… Hurricane Beryl remains at a very low latitude for an Atlantic hurricane. In fact, it’s about as low as they ever get: 10.6° North as of the 4PM CDT advisory. Beryl also is tiny, with a maximum tropical storm force wind field extending about 40 miles out. For reference, that’s about the size of ONE of our northwest Florida counties. Hurricane force winds extend outward 10-15 miles, meaning about the size of the city of Pensacola — a big city, but very small in the grand scheme of things. Tropical storms and hurricanes that are very small like this are also very fragile. Per the latest NHC forecast, there is a very high chance that fragile Hurricane Beryl may not be able to survive the dry air and hostile wind shear ahead of it in the Caribbean Sea. Again, that is slated to happen starting late Sunday into Monday.
BERYL: LOCAL IMPACTS… As of Friday, July 6, no impacts from Hurricane Beryl are expected for Alabama and northwest Florida. Obviously anytime we have a tropical system that has any remote potential of moving our way, it warrants us watching it, but models have consistently painted the idea of Beryl being ripped apart by early next week. That’s the official forecast as of now.
NEW TROPICAL DEPRESSION… The National Hurricane Center has initiated advisories on Tropical Depression #3 off the North Carolina coast. Maximum winds are near 35mph near the center of TD3. This system will likely become Tropical Storm Chris in the hours/days ahead. TD3/Chris-to-be will meander off the coast for a few days before racing out to sea toward the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean. For now, no tropical storm watches or warnings are needed for the Carolina coast. We note that TD3/Chris-to-be will likely never come close to Alabama or northwest Florida and no direct local impacts are expected.
A NOTE ABOUT HYPE… Long-time readers/viewers know that I am extremely averse to hype and unnecessary hyperbole/coverage. Why? Because if we, as your meteorological communicators, “sound the alarm” too much for systems that are not expected to ever affect us, it makes some folks complacent the next time we do have a serious storm. Social science and research consistently proves this, time and time again. You will inevitably see examples of hype and fluff in the days ahead. Take it with a proverbial grain of salt. Unless significant forecast changes happen with Beryl, there is absolutely NO need for panic, fear, or anxiety. If you do like a lot of information, be sure to download the RedZone Weather app for near constant updates.
APP ALERTS… I’ll be sending out several Low-Level Alerts in the days ahead about these ongoing tropical systems. Be sure to check out the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) of the RedZone Weather app to customize the alerts you want to receive from me. It’s easy to do… Just tap on the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button.
Have a nice Friday evening!