Beryl to raise risk of flooding in Puerto Rico, Caribbean despite weakening
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 09, 2018, 5:22:59 AM EDT
Despite weakening to a disorganized tropical rainstorm, Beryl can still spread drenching and gusty rain bands and rough seas across the Caribbean early this week.
As AccuWeather predicted, Beryl reached its peak intensity and dramatically lost strength prior to moving across the Lesser Antilles and approaching Puerto Rico.
The once-hurricane weakened to a disorganized tropical rainstorm on Sunday afternoon. Beryl will remain in that weakened state as it moves along a northwest path early this week.
This path took the small center of Beryl over the Leeward Islands on Sunday night.
Beryl is then expected to pass just south of Puerto Rico on Monday.
Because of the small size and weak nature of Beryl, widespread wind damage is not expected.
There can still be gusts of 30 to 40 mph (48 to 64 km/h) that buffet Puerto Rico on Monday.
Trees that have been trimmed and utility lines and structures that have been properly repaired in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria from 2017 should fair well.
However, power lines that have been jury rigged could fail and lead to sporadic power outages.
Localized heavy rainfall poses the greatest threat
While Beryl is expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, general rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches are expected, according to Dr. Joel Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather.
In mountainous terrain, locally heavier amounts to 4 inches are possible.
"Puerto Rico was hard hit last year by Hurricanes Irma and then Maria, and the island is still recovering," Dr. Myers said. "Again, this amount of rain is significant because the infrastructure of Puerto Rico was so damaged last year."
The hurricanes from last year have reduced some of the canopy of vegetation that would normally slow down runoff.
Chris strengthens into hurricane, stirs rough seas along US East Coast
2018 Atlantic hurricane season: Developing El Niño predicted to limit hurricane formation
Moving to a hurricane-prone region? Ask these 3 questions before buying your home
How to get in touch with loved ones during and after a disaster
5 expert tips for protecting your home against hurricane damage
"Any heavy rainfall is capable of causing flash flooding," Dr. Myers said. "This is particularly true in the places that get heavy downpours, especially low-lying and poor-drainage areas. Heavy rain, of course, can always trigger dangerous mudslides."
The risk of localized flash flooding and mudslides will be greatest along steep hillsides and in mountainous terrain.
"Residents of these areas should take precautions to stay safe and out of harm's way," Dr. Myers added.
On Friday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency due to the potential impacts from Beryl in the coming days.
On Sunday, Rossello announced that he is continuing the emergency declaration even though Beryl has weakened.
The next land mass in the path of locally flooding rainfall and gusty winds from Beryl will be Hispaniola Monday night into Tuesday. Hispaniola is home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
The risk of rough surf and rip currents will spread westward through the northern Caribbean as the storm moves along.
Small craft should remain in port as Beryl approaches.
After Beryl tracks through the Caribbean, AccuWeather meteorologists will be closely watching this storm for the potential for re-strengthening over the Bahamas and offshore of the Southeast.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Chris has formed off the coast of the Carolinas. While not expected to directly impact the east coast of the United States, rough surf and high seas will pose a threat to beachgoers and boaters.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 5:26:41 PM EDT
One of the most extraordinary achievements in United States history occurred 50 years ago. Here's what the Americans who helped produce a "giant leap for mankind" had to say about the mission.
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 5:28:03 PM EDT
Over the weekend, people in the Northeast watched as Barry made landfall on the Gulf Coast as a hurricane. Now, the tropical rainstorm continues its slow march and will bring those people heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 1:19:44 PM EDT
An AccuWeather analyst says areas that aren’t expected to get rain could see things ‘go downhill’
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 10:00:38 PM EDT
The tropical rainstorm continues its move inland, weakening as it pushes north, but drenching areas that lie in its path with heavy rainfall and causing flash-flooding emergencies in parts of Arkansas.
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 8:44:49 PM EDT
As heat expands across the northeastern U.S., highs near the century mark will be common, with some locations experiencing dangerously high AccuWeather RealFeel Temps well above 100.
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 10:58:36 AM EDT
The world's oldest golf championship returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years and the weather may be a factor in the outcome.
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 12:38:48 PM EDT
Heavy rainfall has triggered deadly flooding and mudslides across parts of Nepal and northern India in recent days and more rain is on the way.
Weather News - July 16, 2019, 2:41:46 PM EDT
AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures are about to soar to as high as 110 degrees in some parts of the southern U.S. now that Barry has moved on out.