Tropical Storm Beryl was the second named storm of the 2000 Atlantic hurricane season. Beryl formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico from an area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave that had emerged off Africa on August 3. Beryl formed on August 13, and dissipated on August 15 as it tracked inland over Mexico. Beryl was the first storm of the season to make landfall in North America and be of at least tropical storm intensity. Beryl intensified rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico, and it was forecast to reach hurricane status. However, Beryl remained a disorganized tropical cyclone, and thus failed to strengthen to hurricane status. Northwesterly wind shear was also present in the Gulf and prohibited strengthening. Beryl made landfall in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas as a 50 mph tropical storm, and then dissipated rapidly after landfall. Finally, the precursor wave to Beryl broke into two separate parts, and the southern half spawned Beryl, and the northern half spawned Hurricane Alberto.
Beryl killed one person by drowning, and it caused $27,000 (2000 USD) in damage.
|Formation||August 13, 2000|
|Dissipation||August 15, 2000|
|Highest winds||50 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1007 mbar|
|Damages||$27,400 (2000 USD)|
|Areas affected||Mexico, Texas|
A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on August 3, accompanied with a closed surface circulation. It moved westward across the Atlantic Ocean and broke into two separate parts, with the northern portion of the wave eventually becoming Hurricane Alberto. The southern portion of the wave continued westward through the Atlantic Ocean and into the Carribean Sea, while producing little to no deep convection. On August 12, the wave reached the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and only then did it begin to generate deep convection, mostly due to diurnal heating. On August 13, the wave emerged over the Bay of Campeche as a large area of low pressure. Based on satellite imagery and observations from hurricane hunter aircraft, the wave was upgraded to Tropical Depression Five later that day, while located in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Six hours after becoming a depression, it was forecast that it would attain hurricane status, because of the very warm Gulf of Mexico waters, combined with little upper-level shear. The depression moved northwest and began to rapidly intensify, and there was evidence of deep convection over water. On August 14, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Beryl based on recon observations, and that same day, Beryl reached its peak intensity of 50 mph. Six hours later, Beryl began to move at a faster foward speed of 9 mph, which meant that landfall would occur sooner than expected, and would prevent Beryl from attaining hurricane status. Beryl failed to strengthen as forecast, and remained at 50 mph as it headed northwest towards Mexico. One possible explanation for the lack of intensification of the cyclone was some moderate wind shear and some dry air entrainment over the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, Beryl was never very organized, and so it had a hard time developing.
Beryl continued northwest towards the Rio Grande Valley area of southern Texas. On August 15, Beryl made landfall in Mexico about 105 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, about 35 miles north of La Pesca, Tamaulipas, and about 115 miles north of Tampico. Five hours after landfall, Beryl weakened to a tropical depression. The Brownsville showed that Beryl's center of circulation had become elongated parallel to the mountain ranges of northeastern Mexico, and late on August 15, Beryl was no longer classified as a tropical cyclone, while located near Monterrey.
Beryl in the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center issued Hurricane Warnings early on August 14, in anticipation that Beryl would attain hurricane status. The warnings were issued along the Texas coast from Baffin Bay to the United States/Mexico border. The government of Mexico issued Hurricane Warnings from the border south to La Pesca. The Hurricane Warnings stretched for 230 miles along the coast. The government of Mexico also issued a Tropical Storm Warning south of La Pesca to Tampico. Also, a storm surge of about 2.5 feet was expected along the coast near and north of the center of Beryl. In addition, rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches was expected from Beryl. Thousands of residents in coastal areas of south Texas and northern Mexico were asked to pay attention to the Hurricane Warnings and move towards higher ground. The National Weather Service warned the cities of Cameron and Kenedy, Texas, as well as Willacy County, that severe flooding was the most dangerous threat from Beryl. In low-lying rural areas near the Rio Grande river mouth, an estimated 20,000 residents were urged to seek shelter, as inadequate drainage in these areas makes them vulnerable to flooding. Also, the National Weather Service warned of possible tornadoes associated with Beryl, as they could form associated with thunderstorms and tropical storm generated winds. In south Texas, authorities filled 20,000 sandbags along the shores, as well as closed government offices. In addition, residents nailed plywood on windows, parks were temporarily closed, and documents were transferred to waterproof storage areas.
The warnings remained in place for 12 hours, but after that, they were discontinued north of Port Mansfield, Texas. Also, the Hurricane Warnings were downgraded to Tropical Storm Warnings in all areas between Port Mansfield southward to Tampico. It was predicted that the heavy rainfall from Beryl could trigger flash flooding as well as mudslides over the mountainous terrain of Mexico. On August 15, when Beryl made landfall, warnings were discontinued in Texas. All warnings issued by the government of Mexico were discontinued six hours later when Beryl was downgraded to a tropical depression.
In Texas, Beryl produced 0.8 inches of rain in Corpus Christi, and 0.5 inches of rain in Brownsville in a 48-hour period from August 14 through August 16. The highest winds reported from these areas was no more than 28 mph. Also, cloud cover and rainfall resulted in cool high temperatures in south Texas, with Brownsville reaching a high temperature of only 84°F. The previous record for the coolest high temperature in Brownsville was 85°F, set in 1881.
No tropical storm-force winds were reported in Mexico, where Beryl made landfall. However, there was heavy rainfall. A rainfall total of 6.3 inches was measured at San Gabriel, Tamaulipas in 24-hour period. Residents from two low-lying fishing villages were evacuated from the state of Tamaulipas and taken to extemporaneous shelters at schools and a sports complex. Also, one drowning death was reported in northeastern Mexico from Beryl, caused by extensive flooding from the cyclone's heavy rainfall. Officials declared 15 municipalities in Tamaulipas a disaster area. Total damage in Mexico is estimated to be at $254,000 (2000 MXN, $27,400 2000 USD, $32,100 2006 USD).
Lack of Retirement
Because damage was not extreme, the name Beryl was not retired in the Spring of 2001 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again during the 2006 season, and is on the list of names to be used for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.