Beryl’s Effects to Start Sunday with Texas Coast Landfall Overnight

Beryl’s Effects to Start Sunday with Texas Coast Landfall Overnight

Beryl is still in the process of pulling itself together. The storm is more organized than it was yesterday and is more or less on the forecast track. A strong outer rain band will rotate across much of the Texas coast through the day today, so watch for torrential tropical downpours and frequent lightning increasing through the day. Beryl’s center of circulation will slide by offshore of South Texas today with a landfall expected in the overnight hours between Corpus Christi and the southern suburbs of metro Houston. Coastal communities in central and northern Texas are at high risk of being flooded from storm surge in the areas where the strongest winds are blowing onshore.

Along the coast just to the right of where the center of Beryl makes landfall, the storm surge is forecast to be up to 6 feet above normal high tide. If you stand on the shoreline at the high tide line, it’s easy to imagine what 6 feet of water above that point means. This doesn’t mean it will be 6 feet everywhere in that area. It means that somewhere in the zone with the 6-foot forecast, the water could be that high if the peak surge comes at high tide. Gulf water will rise due to Beryl’s winds as far north as southwestern Louisiana. If the center makes landfall overnight as projected, the good news is that the tide will be low at that time, reducing the height of the water by a foot or 18 inches.

In any case, it’s critical that everybody near the Gulf, inland bays, waterways, harbors, and bayous knows the potential water rise forecast for their area and pays attention to information and instructions from emergency management. Storm surges will be life-threatening in some areas. Hurricane warnings are issued for areas where winds have a good chance of reaching 75 mph or higher. Hurricane warnings only address the wind threat. Tropical storm warnings mean that winds have a good chance of being 40 mph or higher, which are strong enough to knock down trees and powerlines. So everybody in the warning zones should be ready for the power to go out and think about where their car is parked. Find a spot that isn’t prone to flooding and where a tree isn’t likely to fall on it.

It looks likely that Metro Houston will be on the right side of Beryl’s circulation. That’s the side with the heaviest rain and the possibility of tornadoes. The tornado threat peaks in advance of the arrival of the center of the storm. Tomorrow will be a disrupted and potentially dangerous day in most of East Texas including metro Houston. Plan accordingly. Beryl will bring up to 10 inches of rain, with some spots getting more, so flash flooding will be a threat in some areas. This will not be a Harvey situation, but currently the corridor of heaviest rains will fall in the western and northern counties of the Greater Houston Metro. That water will flow into the creeks, bayous, and rivers, which can result in downstream flash flooding.

Beryl will keep moving into Arkansas, toward St. Louis, and into the Midwest. Stay aware of the potential for flooding well away from the Gulf as well. Beryl’s circulation is not large, which means it can spin up quickly. There is less air to get moving if the conditions are just right, and it has enough time to really intensify. It’s still forecast to make landfall as a strong Category 1, so we plan for at least a Category 2. Pay attention. Stay aware. Stay informed. Keep your phone charged. Park your car with care. Don’t stay in dangerous areas near the Gulf, bays, or waterways, or in low-lying areas inland.

Beryl, once a hurricane and now a tropical storm, is expected to regain hurricane strength before it hits the south Texas coast late Sunday or early Monday, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday. The storm weakened after making landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Friday morning, after it plowed through the Caribbean and Jamaica earlier this week killing at least 11 people. “This is a determined storm that is still strong,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said at a news briefing on Friday.

At 4 p.m. local time, Beryl was about 385 miles southeast of Corpus Christi in the Gulf of Mexico, traveling west-northwest at 13 mph. It was expected to continue moving northwest into Sunday, then north-northwest by Sunday night, and make landfall on the Texas coast Monday after re-strengthening to a Category 1 hurricane. On Saturday, Beryl’s winds reached up to 60 mph, with higher gusts. Hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches and warnings were issued Saturday along Texas’ Gulf Coast, the hurricane center said. Storm surge in Texas could reach as high as 6 feet from Mesquite Bay to Sargent and Matagorda Bay.

Tornadoes are possible Sunday, and rainfall totals were forecast between 5 to 10 inches, with as much as 15 inches in some locations. “This rainfall will likely produce areas of flash and urban flooding, some of which may be locally considerable,” the hurricane center said. “Minor to isolated moderate river flooding is also possible.”

At least 11 people were killed in Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and northern Venezuela after Beryl tore through, officials have said. There were no casualties in Mexico. Beryl, the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic season, became the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record. With its rapid intensification, Beryl became a hurricane within 24 hours of formation. Within another 24 hours, its winds had increased 55 mph, reaching 130 mph, almost a Category 4 hurricane.

Schools near Texas’ coast canceled class activities on Monday, including the Corpus Christi and West Oso school districts. Del Mar College will close its campus on Monday, while Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will shift to remote status.

Shop now, not later. That’s what Raoul Martinez, who owns a hardware store in Corpus Christi, Texas, reminded his customers Saturday as Beryl took a turn toward the city. “GET EVERY BATTERY CHARGED in your household,” Martinez posted from the No Hassle Tools and More Facebook page early Saturday. “Have a chainsaw on hand to cut away any debris. Cut your grass now so it don’t grow like crazy. Tie down kids playgrounds and animal houses.” Worried but calm customers were buying necessities, he told USA TODAY. Martinez vowed his store will be open through the storm as long he can reach it safely. “There are people who are going to be in need and we will never know until it happens,” he said. “I have tools for everything, and I want to be at people’s disposals and it’s OK for me.” Martinez encouraged people to be prepared and not wait. “Beat the rush,” Martinez said. “A lot of us small businesses are taking the time out and there are little stores selling water, sand bags, and I’m at least staying open for people.”

Voluntary evacuations were in place in some counties along the Texas coast. Aransas County urged residents to evacuate but made it voluntary. Emergency officials there said anyone who lives in an RV should evacuate, as well as those in low-lying areas. Matagorda County warned residents that floodwaters from the storm could trap them in their homes and called for voluntary evacuations in coastal areas of the county. “The biggest concern for this situation is the coastal areas of our County. Low lying areas that normally flood are impacted,” the county said in a news release on Friday. Sandbags were being distributed in the City of Kingsville in Kleberg County as voluntary evacuation was underway in Baffin Bay, Loyola Beach and all low-lying areas of the county.

As Beryl strengthens over the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters said Texans will already be feeling its impact Saturday ahead of its arrival. “The exact location of Beryl’s landfall is uncertain at this point, but what’s most important is that heavy rainfall, strong winds and storm surge are expected for much of the state’s coastline and portions of the central Gulf Coast beginning tonight into Sunday,” the Weather Prediction Center said early Saturday. Swells and “life-threatening” surf and rip currents caused by the storm are also not far off. Tropical storm conditions are expected to start hitting Texas’ coast on Sunday night.

Multiple large urban areas in Texas, including Houston, Austin and San Antonio, lie in the storm’s broad path of projection, and it’s still uncertain exactly where the hurricane will pass through. Most of the state will feel at least some impacts from the storm. The weather service in Corpus Christi also said south Texas should prepare for power outages. About 3 to 5 feet of storm surge is likely around areas along the coast, and “the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” the hurricane center said. The storm surge will impact areas from Baffin Bay to San Luis Pass, Corpus Christi Bay, Matagorda Bay, between the mouth of the Rio Grande to Baffin Bay, San Luis Pass to High Island and Galveston Bay.

Heavy rain and flash flooding are some of the greatest threats, forecasters warned. About 5 to 10 inches of rain and up to 15 inches in some areas will inundate the Texas Gulf Coast and parts of eastern Texas starting late Sunday and into next week. Flooding is likely wherever Beryl passes, Patrick said.

Former hurricane Beryl has been around for more than a week, and its journey as a named storm has covered close to 3,000 miles across the open tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The intrepid and long-lived storm is gearing up for its third and final landfall, this time in Texas. The forecast is tricky, but meteorologists are expecting the tropical storm to come ashore as an intensifying hurricane Sunday night into Monday. The National Hurricane Center is projecting Beryl to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along the lower or middle Texas coast. That’s where it warns of “a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation,” and “damaging hurricane-force winds.”

In addition, heavy rains, totaling at least 5 to 10 inches, are projected inland, bringing the threat of flash and urban flooding. And this system appears prone to produce a few quick-hitting tropical tornadoes, which could affect the greater Houston metro area even if landfall ends up being much farther to the west. A hurricane warning covers the coast of Texas from Baffin Bay, which is south of Corpus Christi, to Sargent, which is about 60 miles southwest of Galveston. Corpus Christi, Rockport and Matagorda are included in the warning area. A storm surge warning stretches from San Luis Pass to High Island, including Galveston Bay. The predicted surge — or rise in ocean water above normally dry land near the coast — could reach 4 to 6 feet. Tropical storm warnings are in effect to the north and south of the hurricane warning zone and include Houston, Galveston and South Padre Island, as well as far northeastern Mexico.

On Saturday afternoon, the Refugio County, Tex., executive Gigi Poynter ordered all residents to leave the area, which was still rebuilding infrastructure after Hurricane Harvey devastated it in 2017. Nueces County, which includes Corpus Christi, ordered visitors to leave by noon Sunday, though it urged them to do so immediately.

Beryl was a tropical storm with roughly 60-mph winds Saturday evening, having lost some of its strength and organization after sweeping across the Yucatán Peninsula on Friday following a Category 2 landfall. As of about 2 a.m. Eastern time Sunday, its center was about 250 miles southeast of Corpus Christi. It was moving northwest at 13 mph. Beryl looked ragged on satellite imagery early Saturday but showed some signs of improved organization during the afternoon, the Hurricane Center said. Although the storm was fighting hostile high-altitude winds and dry air, the Hurricane Center wrote that environmental conditions should support “significant strengthening” by Sunday morning.

In far South Texas near Brownsville, rain showers and tropical storm-force winds could arrive as early as midmorning Sunday, spreading north and reaching Corpus Christi during the early to midafternoon and Houston by evening. It’s more likely, however, that most areas won’t see heavy rain and gusty winds until Sunday evening, worsening as the storm approaches into early Monday. Preparations for those at risk should be completed by late Saturday. Rip current impacts are already beginning, though, meaning it’s imperative to obey signs and flags at beaches, and swim only where lifeguards are present. The storm surge will probably begin during the day on Sunday, with each tidal cycle becoming higher, and leading to more splash-over and flooding through Monday. The worst surge will be found to the east of where the center makes landfall, since that’s where onshore winds will pile water against the coastline. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who is in charge while Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is on a trade mission in Asia, issued a preemptive disaster declaration for dozens of counties to help provide aid.

Beryl won’t be able to strengthen until it reorganizes. Since most of Saturday will be spent rebuilding itself, the storm won’t have more than Sunday to strengthen. That said, meteorologists do expect it will intensify right up until the point of landfall on Sunday night or Monday. In fact, the most favorable conditions for strengthening may be found right before it moves ashore. That’s when diffluence, or spreading of air aloft, will enhance upward motion and make it easier for warm, moist air to rise into the storm. It’s most likely that Beryl will be a Category 1 storm when it moves onto land, but there’s an outside chance it could be a bit stronger or weaker.

While subject to change, the area most at risk for serious hurricane impacts appears to be just north of Corpus Christi. The average computer model simulation brings the storm ashore between Corpus Christi and Matagorda. Landfall could end up close to Rockport, which is where Hurricane Harvey came ashore in 2017. Due to dry air wrapping in on the backside of the storm, it’s likely the left, or western, edge of the storm will have a very sharp cutoff. That’s why impacts will vary markedly within only a few miles left of the center. One county may be drenched with rain, and the next one over may hardly end up with an inch. The heaviest rain will probably occur to the north and east of where the center comes ashore. The Hurricane Center wrote that flooding from heavy rain could be “locally considerable,” with peak amounts up to 15 inches. Tornadoes will be most likely east of the center in the “feeder bands” spiraling into the storm. The potential for both tornadoes and heavy rain could persist into midweek as Beryl’s remnants progress inland, possibly extending into southeastern Oklahoma and Arkansas and even farther east and north later in the week.

Meteorologists still aren’t sure where Beryl will come ashore; it could reasonably occur roughly between South Padre Island and Galveston. Moreover, it’s unclear how quickly Beryl will reorganize, and so it’s not clear when the period of strengthening will begin. Since it’s a race against time before landfall, every hour that passes is an hour that affects the storm’s eventual peak intensity.

Beryl became the first hurricane of the 2024 season and the earliest-forming Category 5 on record in the Atlantic on Monday night. The storm — fueled by record-warm ocean waters — broke benchmarks for its strength and the rate at which it intensified so early in the season, stunning meteorologists. The storm first hit Grenada, St. Vincent and other Caribbean islands Monday, leaving behind widespread destruction — particularly on the Grenadian islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique — and killing at least five people. Three additional deaths were reported in Venezuela. On Carriacou, home to about 7,000 people, the hurricane wreaked “total devastation all around,” said Allison Caton, 50, owner of Paradise Beach Club, a restaurant and bar on Paradise Beach that was destroyed. Many of the island’s residents are now living in makeshift shelters in schools.

On Wednesday, the storm scraped by Jamaica’s southern coast, producing flooding rains and wind gusts over 80 mph that destroyed homes and toppled trees and power lines. At least two deaths were reported, and roughly 65 percent of Jamaica Public Service Co. customers — about 400,000 households — were left without power as of Thursday, the BBC reported. The storm brought strong winds and heavy rain to the Cayman Islands Wednesday night before barreling toward the Yucatán Peninsula. Beryl struck the Yucatán as a Category 2 hurricane, toppling trees and power lines and causing widespread blackouts, but no casualties were reported.

Beryl strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Sunday night, ahead of its anticipated arrival on the Texas coast, where it could bring a life-threatening storm surge and strong winds, U.S. forecasters said. The storm’s maximum sustained winds increased to 75 mph late Sunday, upgrading it from its status as a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, citing National Weather Service radar and reports from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft. Beryl was about 65 miles south-southeast of Matagorda, Texas, and moving north-northwest at 10 mph, according to an 11 p.m. local time update from the hurricane center.

The storm, which was a Category 4 hurricane when it devastated parts of the Caribbean island nations of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, had weakened to Category 2 by the time it made landfall Friday on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It weakened further to a tropical storm as it moved across the peninsula. Beryl could make landfall in Texas along a stretch of coast from Baffin Bay northward to San Luis Pass, according to the hurricane center. That stretch is covered by a hurricane warning. The National Weather Service office in Dickinson, Texas, said a likely area of landfall is the east side of Matagorda Bay, an area nearly halfway between Corpus Christi and Galveston. Timing for landfall from the hurricane center and the weather service has not been any more precise than “overnight” and “early Monday.”

Early on Sunday evening, Beryl’s spinning outer bands began to brush the Texas shoreline, according to the Corpus Christi office. “Rain bands associated with the west side of Tropical storm Beryl will continue along the immediate coast just east of Port Aransas this evening,” the office said on social media platform X. The storm is forecast to bring “life-threatening” storm surge up to 7 feet and “damaging hurricane-force winds” to an area along the coast from Padre Island National Seashore to Sabine Pass. Flash flooding is also possible along parts of the middle and northern Texas coast, inland to eastern Texas, through Monday night. “Rip currents will cause life-threatening beach conditions through Monday across much of the Gulf Coast,” the hurricane center said in an update Sunday. “Beachgoers should heed warning flags and the advice of lifeguards and local officials before venturing into the water.”

Rainfall of up to 15 inches is possible along parts of the middle and upper Texas coast and eastern Texas starting Sunday into Monday night, which may cause flash flooding. A combination of storm surge and tide might bring dangerous flooding to normally dry areas near the coast, the center said. Matagorda Bay and the area from Port O’Connor to San Luis Pass could get 4 to 7 feet of storm surge, while Galveston Bay could get 4 to 6 feet. “The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the center, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” the hurricane center said

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top