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8AM MONDAY UPDATE:
The National Hurricane Center advisory issued at 8 a.m. Monday located Tropical Storm Beryl over northeast Florida moving to the west at 8 mph. Beryl's maximum sustained winds are 40 mph with higher gusts. The storm is expected to bring sometimes heavy rains to the area.
A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for Gilchrist, Marion and Alachua counties. The National Weather Service issues wind advisories when sustained winds of 25-39 mph are expected for at least an hour with gusts to 40-57 mph. These winds can topple trees and down power lines.
The storm is expected to turn north with a decrease in speed, and become a tropical depression later in the day.
Beryl is expected to move over North Florida today and into Georgia Monday night and Tuesday.
The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Beryl to a tropical storm with maximum stsstained winds of 65 miles per hour. with higher gusts. TS Beryl was not expected to strengthen before making landfall. The storm was located 110 miles east of Jacksonville moving west at 10 miles per hour.
The latest radar image from the National Weather Service shows clouds from the outer bands of Beryl have started circulating over Levy County and rain is being reported in various places.
The best news for Levy County about Sub-Tropical Storm Beryl is that it might bring rain to Levy County starting tonight and through Tuesday.
"This is a rain event here," said Levy County Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson in a phone interview on Sunday morning. Referring to the National Weather Service Tampa office forecast, he said rain would be Beryl's main effect . "It will be like a bad storm coming off the Gulf."
Johnson said, "They've got Levy County well into the two inch rainfall in the graphic. Let's hope that happens. They are showing rains from Beryl arriving late today and tonight."
The county is among the most parched in the state, so the rain would bring welcome relief.
The National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service placed Beryl about 160 miles east of Jacksonville with maximum winds of 50 miles per hour Sunday morning.
Predictions call for it to make landfall Sunday evening and become a depression on Monday. It is predicted to turn in a westerly direction today and then northeast.
"The greatest threat continues to be heavy rainfall with 1 to 4 inches of rain across portions of Florida's Big Bend," Johnson said of the Jacksonville weather office forecast. He said the potential for high winds and rainfall have been reduced from Saturday's forecast.
"Some uncertaintly remains on how far Beryl will track west into Florida before turning northeast," Johnson said.
Levy County Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson is not taking a holiday this weekend as Sub-Tropical Storm Beryl has formed in the Atlantic off the coast of the Southeastern United States.
And he does not want Levy County residents to take a vacation from keeping an eye on the weather as TS Beryl could bring winds — and much needed rainfall — to North Central Florida late in the holiday weekend.
According to weather service officials a sub-tropical storm is one without a well-defined center and a following band of clouds and rain. It's also unlikely a sub-tropical storm will develop into a hurricane. A tropical storm will have a defined center and can develop into a hurricane.
Johnson has been up since 5 a.m. Saturday when a briefing was done by the National Hurricane Center.
"The storm will slowly rest today and on Sunday make landfall," Johnson said. "And it will come across northern Florida on Monday and Tuesday."
The storm is not expected to make a direct path over Levy County, but the effects of it could be felt.
"There is the potential for widespread rainfall over the Central and Northern Florida area, from Tampa Bay to the north on on Sunday through Tuesday,' he said. The potential for Levy County, which is among the driest counties in the state at this time on the Keetch-Byram index is 1-3 inches of rain.
Johnson said the National Weather Service is predicting the heaviest rain would be Sunday through Tuesdy.
"It will be spread out over two days so flash flooding is not likely to incur," said Johnson who said he has briefed county emergency officials on the forecast. Johnson said he had already touched base with County Commission Chair Danny Stevens of Williston (D-District 5) and County Coordinator Fred Moody. He is also in touch with school officials who are preparing for graduation associated activities this weekend.
Severe thunderstorms, heavy downpours and lightning will occur north of Beryl but it is "not expected at this time for us," Johnson said.
What Levy residents will notice is winds that will increase late Monday and early Tuesday, he said. The probablity for those winds is 40 percent according to Saturday morning's briefing.
"Right now we're monitoring through Saturday and through Sunday," Johnson said. If something in the forecast changes he is prepared to activte the emergency operations center. "Levy County Emergency Management
"What Levy County residents have learned in the past is we have to work together on these things Pay attention to your weather radios. Now is the time to be taking a look at should tropical force winds come there could be power outages."
"Right now we're not under any warning or watch. The track of this could change and go north. There is a big weather system out there that could affect this."
Johnson said residents need to follow the weather service reports and the Weather Channel.
"Now is the time to start taking precautions," he said. "We should be ready. This isn't our first rodeo."
For the latest from Levy County Emergency Management, click here.
For the latest from the National Hurricane Center, clich here.