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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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.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Nope. The one with the excellent rotation we were watching yesterday dissipated over the desert... this is the one behind it.
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.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Can you give me the link to the 12z CMC?


http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/model_forecast/global_e.html
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Can you give me the link to the 12z CMC?


Link
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Quoting hydrus:
Gilbert in 1988 weakened when crossing the Yucatan, but the storm grew larger in area and strengthened back to a cat-3 before going ashore about 150 miles south of Brownsville TX. That is not the first time I have seen that happen. When storms make landfall and then re-emerge over the water, they can expand substantially.


Indeed....anytime a mature tropical cyclone goes through weakening, it expands in size.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Quoting xcool:
Link


CMC HERE.
Thanks!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
844. JLPR2
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Nope. The one with the excellent rotation we were watching yesterday dissipated over the desert... this is the one behind it.


nope, its the same one
Link
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843. xcool
Link


CMC HERE.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


It's called Humor Noir. Perhaps a bit sophisticated for a 13yr old.

That La guy has said that about his great-grandfather before...I don't believe it to be humor.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
I'm DYING to see the new Euro, after seeing the GFS and CMC stick to their northern track.
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839. xcool
ECMWF NEXT IN 45MIN I WILL POSTING IT.
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Quoting xcool:
Levi32 .;)
Can you give me the link to the 12z CMC?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting Levi32:


Dang....another northern forecast cycle by the CMC and GFS. If this does actually verify and Alex gets north of Corpus Cristi for a landfall, we could be looking at an extremely dangerous hurricane. Conditions are set for this to ramp up into a major hurricane and not look back, if it gets that kind of time over water.
Exactly!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting mcluvincane:

What's accuweathers take on track?



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
835. xcool
ANY ONE WAY FROM TX TO LA KEEP EYE ON HIM THANKS.
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Quoting xcool:



cmc new NOW LA

Now that would be an 01L problem...look at the MSLP isobars. Tightly packed, still, near the spill.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
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.
Gilbert in 1988 weakened when crossing the Yucatan, but the storm grew larger in area and strengthened back to a cat-3 before going ashore about 150 miles south of Brownsville TX. That is not the first time I have seen that happen. When storms make landfall and then re-emerge over the water, they can expand substantially.
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832. xcool
Levi32 .;)
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Quoting whipster:
Hmmm wife and in laws in La Pesca, MX...not good.


If the current forecast holds up, storm surge could be up to 12 ft in that area. However, if the storm track shifts a bit to the north, chances are that surge may recede from the shore.
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"don't bother me, don't bother me, Alejandro"

(with apologies to the prior Beatles thread)
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Quoting xcool:



cmc new NOW LA


Dang....another northern forecast cycle by the CMC and GFS. If this does actually verify and Alex gets north of Corpus Cristi for a landfall, we could be looking at an extremely dangerous hurricane. Conditions are set for this to ramp up into a major hurricane and not look back, if it gets that kind of time over water.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Where is the CMC model from?
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What's accuweathers take on track?
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Quoting LSU791:
Hello everyone. I lurk about every season and enjoy the different opinions everyone has. I have lived just north of New Orleans for the last 47 years. I have experienced my fair share of hurricanes. Some really bad some not. If I have learned one thing it is this "IT AINT OVER TIL IT'S OVER." It is like they are a living being and every now and then one comes along that seems so defy the laws of physics. So if you live in hurricane alley it is PATIENCE AND VIGILIANCE.
I agree. As an observer for the past 40 years I am often amased at how these systems are so unpredictable.We want to trust the models but this is still an inexact science. I still believe that all interests from Brownsville to Mobile should remain on the alert.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Didn't mean for it to be "hurtful" just how he said it sounded sorta funny.


It's called Humor Noir. Perhaps a bit sophisticated for a 13yr old.
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12Z Canadian..SW LOUISIANA

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Here's the wave that we were watching yesterday.

Nope. The one with the excellent rotation we were watching yesterday dissipated over the desert... this is the one behind it.
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Quoting CCkid00:
okay...question. i live between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La. with a storm this size, if it happened to end up in Houston/Galveston, would it still affect us this far away? i guess the question is....how far away can this storm hit and still affect BR, La.? also, what is that big blob of convection south of Belize?

Just saw this.

That remains to be seen. A lot of changes in store for Alex.

But, I can say this, we actually had a tree down in Covington from Ike's rainbands. *IF* Alex made a trip to the TX coast, I would say that rainbands would be a near certainty. Beyond that, is a WAG.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
821. xcool



cmc new NOW LA
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Updates every 5 minutes.
You can clearly see the circulation.



Looks to be in the GOM soon...
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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.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Quoting RecordSeason:
For the first time in a while, it is starting to get some decent inflow from the NW quadrant directly into the core. This trend should continue from now till next landfall.

Is going to be a glorious hurricane in 24-36 hours. A rare breed indeed, I should think, certainly in terms of size.


For those of us in South Padre Island Tx, "glorious" and "hurricane" don't really go together. But I do know what you mean.
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Updates every 5 minutes.
You can clearly see the circulation.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
i was feeling better when I saw Alex going more West than North... well... NOW you can see on satellite now that the trough is beginning to affect ALEX by drawing it NW once again...
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


still looks impressive
Indeed.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting GetReal:

very nice composite there!
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Quoting hurricane23:


Yep. Unfortunately conditions aloft across the gomex should be prime. Thankfully it appears that the inner core is takeing a beating which should halt rapid intensification at first.



Unless the storm pulls a Marco, as per my previous scenario.
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When is the other 12Z models coming out?
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1342
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Here's the wave that we were watching yesterday.



still looks impressive
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Here's the wave that we were watching yesterday.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting stormpetrol:
heavy convection north of panama,might bear watching.


I think that's the storm, created from the outer convective bands of Alex, that NOGAPS predicted (and still predicts, to some extent) will follow Alex in its tracks.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
heavy convection north of panama,might bear watching.


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?
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Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
806. 7544
you can see the nice spin here look at the size if alex gets anyfurther north the whole se will be indirectly effected with rain Link
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Quoting louisianaboy444:


My Great Grandfather drowned in Audrey...but its okay
My condolences. Again, didn't mean for it to sound hurtful.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
NHC is correct as far as track on this one because the Trof will not make it across in time before landfall north or south of the MX/TX border......Potential intensity is whole other issue as we all know (much harder to predict) and a matter of whether the trajectory/time over open water is a little further to the North in Texas.
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Anyone heard from Storm W? What are his thoughts on Alex?
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Hmmm wife and in laws in La Pesca, MX...not good.
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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.