Tropical Depression Beryl has strengthened slightly as it continues to dump rain on parts of the Southeast. A NASA satellite spied the storm over Florida and Georgia on Monday (May 28).
Beryl made landfall as a tropical storm over northern Florida on Sunday — with winds of 70 mph (113 kph), it was the strongest tropical storm to make landfall in the United States before the official June 1 start of the hurricane season.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image of Beryl at noon EDT on May 28 after it made landfall and as the main mass of storm clouds was west of Jacksonville, with spiral arms extending over Georgia, Florida, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Beryl has been moving towards the northeast and is currently 25 miles (40 kilometers) north-northeast of Charleston, S.C. and 135 miles (215 km) southwest of Wilmington, N.C.
The center of the storm is expected to move off the South Carolina coast later today and move along or just off the coast of the Carolinas through tonight, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center. Beryl is expected to strengthen some over the course of the day and could regain tropical storm strength.
Beryl is the second named storm of the season. Named storms include tropical storms and hurricanes. The first named storm of the season was Tropical Storm Alberto, which formed on May 19 in the same area off the southeastern coast as Beryl.
Beryl was the earliest second named storm of any season since record keeping began in 1950.
The NHC has predicted a "normal to near-normal" hurricane season for 2012, with a total of nine to 15 named storms, four to eight hurricanes, and one to three major hurricanes (those of Category 3 status or higher). Hurricane season officially runs through Nov. 30.