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Tropical Storm Beryl makes landfall in Florida

11 am Monday update: Tropical Storm Beryl weakens to a Tropical Depression

8 am Monday update: Here are the latest stats on Beryl from the National Hurricane Center as it continues to spin inland over north-central Florida:

SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
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LOCATION...30.4N 82.5W
ABOUT 50 MI...80 KM W OF JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA
ABOUT 55 MI...90 KM ESE OF VALDOSTA GEORGIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 8 MPH...13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES

Beryl is weakening while it is over land, but it is still tapping into rich moisture to produce heavy rainfall in Florida, southeast Georgia, and mainly along the coast of South Carolina right now.

Here is the visible satellite image as of 9:15 a.m. EDT:

Monday Morning update: Tropical Storm Beryl officially made landfall near Jacksonville Beach, FL at about 12:10 a.m. EDT Monday, May 28, 2012, according to the National Hurricane Center. The estimated intensity of Beryl when it made landfall was wind gusts up to 70 mph. Sustained winds just before landfall, as taken from a National Ocean Service Station in Mayport, FL recorded a sustained wind of 44 mph with a gust to 59 mph.

Beryl is the first Tropical Storm to have this early of a U.S. landfall since Arlene in May 1959. There have been various pre-season systems (usually sub-tropical cyclones or remnants of previous tropical cyclones) to impact the U.S. over the years, but as for an eye of a Tropical Storm moving on-shore, that hasn’t happened since Arlene.

As of sunrise Monday morning, Beryl has maximum wind gusts of 50 mph as it moves west at 8 mph west of Jacksonville, FL farther inland. There is no significant change to the projected path of Beryl’s remnants over the next several days, moving into south Georgia and then hugging along the Carolinas coastline today and tomorrow. By Wednesday, the center of Beryl will be back over warmer Atlantic waters just offshore, and allow it to regain its tropical characteristics while accelerating away from the Mid-Atlantic. Impacts for Virginia’s coast will be heavy rain at far Southeast Virginia on Wednesday, with high surf and rip tides Tuesday through Thursday.

11 pm update:  Winds remain near 70 mph.  Center is near the coastline and is making landfall between Jacksonville and St. Augustine

8 pm update:  Winds are now up to 70 mph.  Landfall before midnight just north of St. Augustine, FL

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As of 5 pm Sunday, the center of Tropical Storm Beryl was less than 100 miles from the northeastern coast of Florida.  Movement is to the west at 10 mph.  Maximum sustained winds are 65 mph with some isolated higher gusts.  Hurricane strength is winds of 74 mph or higher, and although minor strengthening is possible this evening, Beryl should remain a tropical storm.

Landfall is slated late this evening between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Florida.  Tropical storm warnings stretch from the southern coast of South Carolina down to the east central coast of Florida. 

Once inland tonight, Beryl will weaken to a tropical depression by midday Monday.  The storm should move through southern South Carolina, and go back offshore Tuesday night.  Beryl may strengthen again into a tropical storm once over the ocean. 

While across the southeast, Beryl will produce rainfall of 4 to 8 inches between now and late Tuesday.  Wind gusts over 50 mph will be possible during this period, and shoreline waves will exceed 6 feet.

The track will then be to the northeast, and Beryl may pass near the Outer Banks Wednesday.  Wind gusts over 45 mph are possible.

In terms of local impacts, depending upon the exact track, rain will be more likely east of I-95 on Wednesday.   We will update more on the local effects in the coming days once Beryl works across Georgia and South Carolina.

Updated stats and forecasts can be found in the CBS 6 Hurricane Tracker.

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