Sunday, May 27, 2012

US Southeast coast braces for heavy rain, winds from Beryl

MSNBC: Subtropical storm Beryl began moving faster toward an expected landfall Sunday night on the Southeast U.S. coast, threatening Memorial Day beachgoers with forecast conditions of dangerous surf and drenching rains from northeast Florida up through a swath of the Carolinas.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for the entire Georgia coastline, as well as parts of Florida and South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said. Forecasters at the center in Miami said the system of powerful thunderstorms was expected to make landfall sometime Sunday night in the region.

Beryl was technically considered a "subtropical storm," but the system of menacing storms was expected to bring winds and rain to the area regardless of its official classification. On Sunday morning, Beryl was centered about 165 miles (270 kilometers) east of Jacksonville, Fla., and about 180 miles (290 km) southeast of Savannah, Ga. Forecasters said the system had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and was moving west-southwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

Tropical storm conditions — meaning maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph) — were expected to reach the coast late Sunday morning or afternoon and continue through the night. Three to six inches of rain were forecast for a wide area from northern Florida up the coast to the southeastern portion of North Carolina. Some coastal flooding also was in the forecast, as the rain could cause high tides.

Dangerous surf conditions, including rip currents, are possible from northeast Florida to North Carolina in the coming hours, forecasters added. Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown ordered a state of emergency, ending the Jazz Festival early and urging people to stay out of the water and off the streets, reported....

Wrong year, wrong storm, wrong location, so just consider this image of a Norfolk, Virginia storm in 2003 as a generic stand-in for Beryl. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Michael Pendergrass. (RELEASED)

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