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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Hmmm wife and in laws in La Pesca, MX...not good.
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How active do ya'll think july will be?
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800. xcool
hey all.Alex will be in the gulf soon oh boy
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Quoting Patrap:


U really should preview yer post.


Some may have real connections to that storm in many ways.

Family maybe to start.

My impression was that it was more about the oddity that we are talking about Audrey in the anniversary of her landfall...and have good reason to talk about her.
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Quoting Snowlover123:


Impressive stuff.


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.

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Quoting Patrap:
NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NMI







Wow, thunderstorms associated with Alex are popping up 12 degrees latitude north of the center.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Didn't mean for it to be "hurtful" just how he said it sounded sorta funny.


My Great Grandfather drowned in Audrey...but its okay
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
and word on cchs weatherman? i miss his posts
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Quoting Patrap:


U really should preview yer post.


Some may have real connections to that storm in many ways.

Family maybe to start.
Didn't mean for it to be "hurtful" just how he said it sounded sorta funny.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting dxdy:


Crawford Ranch to take a direct hit?


W lives in Dallas now.
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Quoting Snowlover123:


What model is that?

came from www.ral.ucar.edu
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791. JRRP
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790. dxdy
Quoting Levi32:
NNW motion resumes on the GFS between 72 and 90 hours.



Crawford Ranch to take a direct hit?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL!


U really should preview yer post.


Some may have real connections to that storm in many ways.

Family maybe to start.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
heavy convection north of panama,might bear watching.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I am not so sure of that, Alex is the type of development normally seen in the Western Pacific and those storms tend to keep their size pretty well when they intensify


And I'm not so sure that the "Carbon Black" tactics aimed at weakening a hurricane by warming its outer bands and causing it to unravel, long touted as possibly the best method, would even work on a storm like Alex.
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Quoting oddspeed:


What model is that?
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Quoting atmoaggie:

And today is the anniversary. Fitting...in some weird way.
.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Patrap:


That un' took 400 Lives in 57,

Audrey

And today is the anniversary. Fitting...in some weird way.
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Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
782. JRRP
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At this point deterministic models are mostly entertainment value when it comes to landfall and intensity; ensembles only slightly less so. However, it may be interesting to speculate on other consequences of the long term general pattern. If ECMWF is correct, beyond day 8 much of the US mainland is going to be in a significant heat wave with 20C+ 850 mb temps over about 75% of the lower 48 and a huge swath of 25C+ over the center, from coast-to-coast. If GFSE is correct, the northward track of Alex will reduce these temperatures through the S-N from the gulf States through the mid west for much of the day 8 and a few days beyond period, and significantly weaken the upr ridge. A large, unmovable upper ridge with 500 HPa heights > 600 dm is not a good thing! Day time highs can approach 40C/104F with little nighttime cooling under a 25C 850 mb airmass.
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I still think the weakness in the ridge will build back in and send it towards Mexico
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Quoting Patrap:
..Somewhere over da Rainbow.


...is Alex! :P

-Snowlover123
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Quoting Snowlover123:


Ike looks smaller than Alex!



Exactly. But note that the COC is currently more organized than the rest of the system, and the storm could shrink in the BOC as it intensifies.
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Quoting dxdy:


not too small

http://www.youtube.com/v/HgwA6NkA90w


Incorrect link, it's this one: Link
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Hey, now, a straight line north is always possible. Just not looking that way, ATM. Still *could* happen.

e. g. another June storm comes immediately to mind
Well not to my mind, LOL, but yeah definitely a possibility.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting atmoaggie:

No way does Alex successfully spin up to a hurricane and maintain all of it's areal size. This isn't a CV storm with 15 days to build angular momentum...coalescence is the only way it becomes a cat 2. Otherwise, it will be a weaker huge system, like now.

Not getting both out of Alex in only a few days, IMHO.


Depends on if it is able to tap enough energy to accomplish both. It's possible if enough fuel is given to the fire.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting atmoaggie:

Hey, now, a straight line north is always possible. Just not looking that way, ATM. Still *could* happen.

e. g. another June storm comes immediately to mind


That un' took 400 Lives in 57,

Audrey
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting sammywammybamy:



Florida(My State), Bama , Missisipi and Lousiana/NOLA is in the Clear. The Storm Would Have to Bank North in a Straight Line. If Anything the People in Mexico and South Texas should worry.


Chances Of Tropical Storm Winds:


Hey, now, a straight line north is always possible. Just not looking that way, ATM. Still *could* happen.

e. g. another June storm comes immediately to mind
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..Somewhere over da Rainbow.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting Patrap:


A good generator,a 35-50 gallon fuel stash to run it ,..and a 110 Window AC unit does away with that worry.

And will make like bearable.


Even makes a huge difference in a tent. I used to go to a bunch of outdoor bluegrass festivals. You would be amazed at the # of family size canvas tents with a hole cut in the side and a 120 volt window unit on stilts stuffed in them. Used to call them "Red-Neck RVs.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Lah..la..La.

01L

OIL


LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I am not so sure of that, Alex is the type of development normally seen in the Western Pacific and those storms tend to keep their size pretty well when they intensify
Due to the build-up of heat in the Caribbean is why Alex was such a large system, the same thing happens in the WPAC.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting atmoaggie:
Yep, some westward jogs, but, back to the N gom TX coast for GFS.

A *little* further west than before, but about the same dynamics in play.



That would be rough for HGX interests.


After all these hours, GFS still shows the decoupling scenario.
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NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NMI





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting atmoaggie:

No way does Alex successfully spin up to a hurricane and maintain all of it's areal size. This isn't a CV storm with 15 days to build angular momentum...coalescence is the only way it becomes a cat 2. Otherwise, it will be a weaker huge system, like now.

Not getting both out of Alex in only a few days, IMHO.



We sure do hope that that is the case... I least I hope you're correct.
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l8r, ya'll. The sun is shining, the mangos are ripening.... I thinks I gots to go.... lol
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Quoting GetReal:
Please remember that if Alex does manage to come on shore anywhere north of Brownsville as a hurricane, with the current large circulation, this is still very bad news for the states dealing with the oil in the GOM.

The will be strong and consistent 25 to 40 mph wind offshore, from the south and southeast pushing that GUNK towards onto the beaches and into marshes...

Even the current GFS solution only has 10 to 20 knot winds in store for us...

Big enough plot to see it, without the browser resize: http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/images/gfs_ten_120l.gif
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Quoting atmoaggie:

No way does Alex successfully spin up to a hurricane and maintain all of it's areal size. This isn't a CV storm with 15 days to build angular momentum...coalescence is the only way it becomes a cat 2. Otherwise, it will be a weaker huge system, like now.

Not getting both out of Alex in only a few days, IMHO.


I am not so sure of that, Alex is the type of development normally seen in the Western Pacific and those storms tend to keep their size pretty well when they intensify
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Here's yet another size comparison.

Ike...


Alex...


Ike looks smaller than Alex!

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I think it is safe to say that Alex's COC will re-emerge over the Gulf of Mexico waters within the next 180 minutes (3 hours).

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
....................................................Alex might look like Allen in 1980...
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756. dxdy
Quoting Levi32:


LOL....Darby isn't even big enough to do the Fujiwara. Look at that....so funny.



not too small

http://www.youtube.com/v/HgwA6NkA90w
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Quoting GetReal:
Please remember that if Alex does manage to come on shore anywhere north of Brownsville as a hurricane, with the current large circulation, this is still very bad news for the states dealing with the oil in the GOM.

The will be strong and consistent 25 to 40 mph wind offshore, from the south and southeast pushing that GUNK towards onto the beaches and into marshes...
an important point...as broad as this storm is and probably will be, it's likely to have some impact on the oil, wherever it makes landfall...again
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Quoting RecordSeason:
716:

Do you realize this storm is probably twice the size of Ike in total area? It is 25% to 50% larger in radius, easy.


Here's yet another size comparison.

Ike...


Alex...
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Quoting hurricane23:
Still dont by the GFS track wise...



Impressive stuff.
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Upper-level conditions on the GFS start to become a little less than perfect at landfall, but still very good ventilation over the western gulf for this thing to ramp up.

12z GFS 200mb 120 hours:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701

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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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