Tropical Storm Alex's Yucatan Landfall

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:52 AM GMT on June 27, 2010

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Update: Here's the 500AM EDT radar image from Belize. Alex's eye is roughly 150 km NW of the radar.


This Animated loop shows the development of Alex's eye. The page for Belize's radar is here.

The 500AM EDT forecast is a bit different than the previous forecast. Essentially, it looks like the area of high pressure in the northern Gulf of Mexico will weaken due to a trough over the eastern US. This will weaken the steering currents and slow's Alex's motion over the Gulf of Mexico. The reduced storm motion will give Alex more time to intensify in a a warm SST/weak shear environment. The current forecast calls for Alex to become a category 2 storm before making landfall north of Tampico, MX late Wed. night/early Thursday morning.

The $64,000 question is "Will the ridge continue to weaken, allowing Alex to move north and continue intensification?" The 12Z global model runs will have more accurate forecasts than the the 6Z runs thanks to the presence of radiosonde data, so hopefully they'll provide an answer. It's still my opinion that Alex will not directly impact the oil spill recovery efforts, but I can't say that the chances of it doing so are getting smaller now.

This is Dr. Rob Carver, filling in for Jeff during the late shift. Tropical Storm Alex is currently moving over the Yucatan peninsula. Alex's intensity has dropped to 50 knots in the latest advisory with further weakening expected as the storm moves over land. After Alex moves into the Gulf of Mexico, intensification is expected because of warm sea-surface temperatures and weak vertical wind shear. An area of high pressure in the northern Gulf of Mexico will guide Alex into a WNW-NW track. The 200AM EDT forecast calls for Alex to intensify into a category 1 hurricane before making landfall just north of Tampico, MX.

In my judgement, the chances of Alex moving northwards and directly interfering with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery efforts are small and getting smaller with time. I agree with Jeff's assessment that Alex will generate 2+ foot swells that would interfere with skimming operations

Currently, the main threat from Alex is flooding due to heavy rains. NHC is forecasting rainfall amounts from 4 to 8 inches with higher amounts over mountainous terrain, causing flooding and possibly mudslides.


Fig. 1Forecast of 24-hour accumulated precipitation from TS Alex.

Alex's Belizean Landfall
Jeff saved this radar image of Alex making landfall.

Fig. 2Base reflectivity at 2315Z 26 June 2010 at Philip Goldson Airport

There isn't much storm structure apparent in the reflectivity data, just widespread areas of showers. Data from a nearby PWS shows that the peak windspeed was 43 mph. You can clearly see the circulation move past the station with changes in the wind direction and speed. You can also see when the rainbands passed over the station.

Invest 94L
Invest 94L is still out there, but it's not looking healthy. It's currently in an area unfavorable for tropical cyclogenesis and NHC thinks it has a 0% chance of becoming a tropical storm in the next two days. Current forecast models have 94L moving northwards and making a pass by Bermuda.

If things don't change significantly, Jeff is thinking about taking Sunday off. However, rest assured that if Alex starts charging towards the US, Jeff or I will put up a new entry. In any event, I'm planning on posting an update sometime late Sunday evening.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:


Alex is a large, pink male symbol?
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I agree.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
829:

If it actually does re-curve and gets that much time over 30-32c water, it's gonna be a big one for sure.


That's the kind of scenario I feared with Dean in 2007. Only it kept on a straight west-northwestward track and hit Mexico as a cat. 2.
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Quoting Patrap:
Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop


In the last few frames, Alex definitely looks like as if it is starting to take a turn to the NW.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Not intended to be funny ha ha but funny peculiar.

There's that word I was looking for...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Looks like banding features developing N of Ciudad de Carmen Link
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01L/TD/A
MARK
19.0N/91.0W(NEARING WATER)
TRACK
19.2N/91.3W
19.8N/91.9W
20.3N/92.2W
20.6N/92.4W
21.1N/92.9W
21.5N/93.4W
(STOP)
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Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Folks always try to second guess NHC in terms of track but they are the best in the business and usually go with the consensus of all the same models we look at (and try to second guess between model runs)....If anything, the safest bet is to focus on the 3 Day NHC track; I pretty much ignore the 5 day track because lots of changes can occur in that time frame but this particular storm seems destined for a MX/TX landfall per the current 3 day NHC track.
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Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
Quoting atmoaggie:

Well, hi. I know Denham, well.
In my teens, I worked at your Mr Gattis on Range, for a while. Lived off O'Neil at the time.


they have mr gattis down there?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lol, don't worry about it.


I think that the African Wave has a decent chance of becoming Bonnie. It has some Saharan dryness ahead of it though.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


Dark Humor in the turn of phrase
Not intended to be funny ha ha but funny peculiar.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting tropicaltank:
I remember,during Hugo, Cantori said that when a system becomes powerful,that it may essentially make its own weather.That,with a strong system,it affects the surrounding environment,so that preconceived notions of steering currents etc become less relevant.This increases the inability to predict the track.


It's true.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting StadiumEffect:
Yes, the wave with strong mid level rotation is the one we are currently seeing re-firing convection. It should exit the coast later today.
Likely it will.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Any models still developing that way?
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Quoting tropicaltank:
I remember,during Hugo, Cantori said that when a system becomes powerful,that it may essentially make its own weather.That,with a strong system,it affects the surrounding environment,so that preconceived notions of steering currents etc become less relevant.This increases the inability to predict the track.


Cantwhoooie?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It would be impossible for the wave behind the one we were watching yesterday to be that far west. They have to be the same ones, and they actually are, take a look at the loop.
Yes, the wave with strong mid level rotation is the one we are currently seeing re-firing convection. It should exit the coast later today.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Ah you are right Miami... doesn't appear that way on wv though.
Lol, don't worry about it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
It is clearly the same system that we were watching yesterday
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Quoting Levi32:


Lol it's the same wave.

Loop
Ah you are right Miami... doesn't appear that way on wv though.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3631
880. JLPR2
That ULL to the north of PR is swallowing lots of tropical moisture
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
I remember,during Hugo, Cantori said that when a system becomes powerful,that it may essentially make its own weather.That,with a strong system,it affects the surrounding environment,so that preconceived notions of steering currents etc become less relevant.This increases the inability to predict the track.
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I am lost for words at Englands performance... Thank God it's over with.
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Quoting twooks:


http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8vor4.html

Was looking at that too. Vorticity Map shows some spin with it--seems partially on land atm.

Any model support for this yet?


Think the nhc might color code that area?
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


What did you think of my alternate scenario, post #728?


Not particularly likely.

Also that "donut" of shear is something some people fail to understand....the shear around the storm is created by the storm itself. That donut of shear represents a nearly perfect outflow pattern around the storm. It is becoming slightly squished to the north right now due to an upper trough over the north gulf coast, but that will soon change back to what it was yesterday, a perfect upper anticyclone over the system. The shear around the storm is created by itself and is not hostile.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting atmoaggie:

Oh. Okay.

My thing was about the oddity of the dates...nothing more.


Dark Humor in the turn of phrase
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
Morning/Afternoon All!


Good day, Winter!
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870. xcool
hot hot gom.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


I was refering to your posts that he originally laughed at. Now I'm in it up to my buttocks. I shall refrain from further comment. Pat already took care of it.

Oh. Okay.

My thing was about the oddity of the dates...nothing more.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Nope. You take a look at the loop. The swirl we were watching yesterday is long gone over the Sahara.


Lol it's the same wave.

Loop
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
The center of Alex is about to re-emerge into the GOM.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Nope. You take a look at the loop. The swirl we were watching yesterday is long gone over the Sahara.
LOL, I'm telling you they are the same one. Look:

Link
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
864. xcool
7544 thanks
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How is Alex doing today? Looks like the center is starting to emerge into the GOM.
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Quoting Levi32:
Alex isn't going to shrink. This will end up being a large storm....initial ramp-up after crossing the Yucatan will always start with a small core, but this will quickly start looking again like the large size that it is.


What did you think of my alternate scenario, post #728?
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.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It would be impossible for the wave behind the one we were watching yesterday to be that far west. They have to be the same ones, and they actually are, take a look at the loop.
Nope. You take a look at the loop. The swirl we were watching yesterday is long gone over the Sahara.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3631
Quoting CCkid00:
thank you Atmo! we actually live in Denham Springs....so not too far from you. we took a bunch of jr. high kids to Camp Living Waters in Robert, a couple of wks. ago....close to Covington. i've watched on here for 6 yrs. interesting sight. i recognize your name. gonna be a long hurricane season.

Well, hi. I know Denham, well.
In my teens, I worked at your Mr Gattis on Range, for a while. Lived off O'Neil at the time.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Updates every 5 minutes.
You can clearly see the circulation.



It's close to hitting the water!
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Quoting atmoaggie:

That La guy has said that about his great-grandfather before...I don't believe it to be humor.


I was refering to your posts that he originally laughed at. Now I'm in it up to my buttocks. I shall refrain from further comment. Pat already took care of it.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting GetReal:


Wow just look at the outer spiral bands. Any risk of rip currents in Florida?
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855. 7544
xcool is on top of this one u go ugo good job
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Quoting DestinJeff:
soon to emerge ...

Probably within the next 2 hours.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Good afternoon everyone. I am not liking what I'm seeing with this ridge. People along the northern/central Gulf Coast KEEP a VERY close eye on Alex. I personally don't see the current forecasted track panning out.
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thank you Atmo! we actually live in Denham Springs....so not too far from you. we took a bunch of jr. high kids to Camp Living Waters in Robert, a couple of wks. ago....close to Covington. i've watched on here for 6 yrs. interesting sight. i recognize your name. gonna be a long hurricane season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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