Beryl was a weak tropical storm that moved over the southwest Gulf of Mexico and across the northeast coast of Mexico, and eventually dissipated inland over the mountains of northern Mexico.
a. Synoptic history
Tropical Storm Beryl originated from a tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa with a closed circulation on 3 August. The wave tracked westward across the tropical North Atlantic and fractured into two separate entities - the northern portion of wave, which became major Hurricane Alberto, tracked northwestward, and the southern portion that tracked westward and eventually became Beryl. The southern portion of the wave produced little or no deep convection as it tracked across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean Sea. Not until the wave reached the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on 12 August did deep convection redevelop, mainly due to local diurnal heating. However, convergence of the afternoon coastal seabreeze fronts may have helped to concentrate the low-level vorticity of the wave and produce a closed circulation over the western Yucatan Peninsula. The wave emerged over the southern Gulf of Mexico and Bay of Campeche early on the 13th as a broad area of low pressure with a large closed circulation. Later that day, the wave was upgraded to Tropical Depression Five based on satellite intensity estimates and an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft observation of a broad closed circulation and surface winds of 30 kt.
Tropical Depression Five tracked northwestward across the southwest Gulf of Mexico and reconnaissance aircraft found 1000 ft flight level winds of 53 kt at 1356 UTC on the 14th. Surface winds were estimated to be 45 kt based on an adjustment factor of 85% and the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Beryl at 1500 UTC. Beryl maintained this intensity and continued to track northwest toward the Rio Grande Valley area of south Texas and northeast Mexico. Landfall eventually occurred around 0700 UTC, 15 August, along the Mexican coast about 90 n mi south of Brownsville, TX or about 30 n mi north of La Pesca, Mexico. Beryl was downgraded to a tropical depression shortly after landfall at1200 UTC and eventually dissipated over the mountains of northern Mexico near Monterrey at 1800 UTC, 15 August. Beryl's lack of significant intensification may have been due to moderate upper-level northerly shear and entrainment of dry mid-level air located over the Gulf of Mexico.
b. Meteorological statistics
The "best track" of Beryl is given in Table 1 and Figure 1. Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the best track maximum sustained (1 min average) surface (10 m elevation) wind speed and minimum central pressure, as well as the associated observations. These include Dvorak satellite technique position and intensity estimates from the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), the NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), and the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA). Since Beryl made landfall along a sparsely populated coastal region of northeast Mexico, no official land reports of tropical storm force winds were received. However, at 0500 UTC, 15 August, ship 9VBL (Koeln Express) reported a southeast wind of 35 kt and a pressure of 1010.5 mb about 70 n mi southeast of the center. Also, Air Force Reserve reconnaissance personnel visually estimated surface winds of 40, 45, and 55 kt (twice) on 14 August.
c. Casualty and Damage Statistics
There was one reported drowning death in northeast Mexico caused by the extensive flooding caused by Beryl's heavy rains and relatively slow movement. No reports of U.S. damage or casualties were received by the National Hurricane Center.
d. Forecast and Warning Critique
Since Beryl was a tropical storm for barely 24 h, no meaningful statistics are available. However, Beryl was incorrectly forecast to reach hurricane strength just before landfall. Official intensity forecasts at all time periods for the 36-hour interval prior to landfall were too high (overforecast), as were the SHIPS model intensity forecasts.
Table 2 lists the watches and warnings associated with Beryl. Hurricane warnings were issued portions of the coastal sections of South Texas and Northeast Mexico on 14 August, but were later canceled or downgraded to tropical storm warnings when it became apparent that Beryl was not going to reach hurricane strength.
Table 1. Best track, Tropical Storm Beryl, 13-15 August 2000. Date/Time
Stage Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W) 13 / 1800 22.5 93.5 1008 30 tropical depression 14 / 0000 22.7 93.8 1008 30 " 14 / 0600 23.1 94.6 1007 35 tropical storm 14 / 1200 23.5 95.4 1009 40 " 14 / 1800 23.9 96.3 1009 45 " 15 / 0000 24.1 97.0 1007 45 " 15 / 0600 24.5 97.7 1009 45 " 15 / 1200 24.9 98.6 1010 30 tropical depression 15 / 1800 25.2 99.8 1012 25 " 15 / 0000 24.1 97.0 1007 45 minimum pressure
Figure 1. Best track for Tropical Storm Beryl, 13-15 August 2000.
Figure 2. Best track maximum sustained surface wind speed curve for Tropical Storm Beryl, 13-15 August 2000.
Figure 2b. Best track minimum central pressure curve and central pressure curve for Tropical Storm Beryl, 13-15 August 2000.
Table 2. Watch and warning summary for Tropical Storm Beryl, 13-15 August 2000. Date/Time
Action Location 14 / 1500 Hurricane Warning issued Baffin Bay, Texas south to La Pesca, Mexico 14 / 1500 Tropical Storm Warning south of La Pesca to north of Tampico, Mexico 15 / 0300 Hurricane Warning canceled north of Port Mansfield, Texas 15 / 0300 Hurricane Warning downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning Port Mansfield, Texas south to Tampico, Mexico 15 / 0900 Tropical Storm Warning canceled all of Texas coast 15 / 0900 Tropical Storm Warning continued Tampico, Mexico northward to U.S./Mexico border 15 / 1500 Tropical Storm Warning canceled all of northeast coast of Mexico