Greensboro, NC -- Beryl moved ashore near Jacksonville Beach, FL at 12:10 Monday morning as a strong Tropical Storm with estimated sustained winds of 70 mph.
To have a strong tropical storm this early in the year is impressive enough, but the fact that there has already been two named storms this early in the season is almost unheard of. Tropical Storm Alberto formed just a little over a week ago on May 19th just off the Carolina Coast. The storm remained off the Southeast coast until it eventually dissipated on May 22nd.
The development of Beryl late Friday, May 25th marked the first time since the hurricane season of 1908 that two Atlantic named storms have formed so early in the year. That year the first tropical cyclone developed in the eastern Caribbean on March 6th and the second developed over the southern Bahamas on May 24th.
The only other year that two storms developed so early in the year was in 1887. Records or tropical cyclones in the Atlantic extend back to 1851.
The official start to hurricane season isn't until June 1st and runs through November 30th.
In 2011 the first tropical cyclone (Tropical Storm Arlene) didn't develop until June 28th and in 2010 the first tropical cyclone (Tropical Storm Alex) didn't develop until June 26th.
Beryl adds another feather to it's cap by being only the second named storm to hit the U.S. on Memorial Day weekend. The other was Subtropical Storm Alpha in 1972 which followed a path almost identical to Beryl's, but moved ashore with winds of only 60 mph. Beryl's 70 mph winds at landfall makes it the strongest storm to hit land in May since the May 29, 1908 hurricane which was only slightly stronger than Beryl with winds of 75 mph.
As for what the rest of the season has in store only time will tell. Forecasters, however, expect the upcoming hurricane season to be near normal. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their official forecast on May 24th.
NOAA's forecast calls for 9-15 named storms, 4-8 hurricanes, of which 1-3 will become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5). An average hurricane season has 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes of which 3 develop into major hurricanes.
WFMY News 2