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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701. BahaHurican
4:05 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Is Darby too far away for a Fujiwara effect?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
700. Patrap
4:05 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Dat lil Coc is losing its Mojo..

and keep a wary eye to the Larger Envelope and how it ejects later this afternoon off the xtreme Nw Yuc.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
699. Levi32
4:05 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting atmoaggie:

No. In the 12 z GFS, Alex actually starts to lose latitude...much sharper left than those.

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/index_ten_m_loop.shtml

We'll see as it goes further, but that looks like a windshield wiper of a different direction, to me, so far.


I see what you mean....guess we'll see.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
697. Levi32
4:03 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Snowlover123:


Is it just me, or in the last few frames does it look like Alex is going more NW instead of WNW?


Hard to say....now that the center has once again become hard to pinpoint, we are better off looking at the overall movement of the entire core, which is WNW at the moment.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
696. PanhandleChuck
4:03 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
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.


I hear ya man, I am prepared, but couldn't imagine being holed up with 2 daughters and a wife in one little room for an extended period of time LOL
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1412
695. MiamiHurricanes09
4:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
694. Patrap
4:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
11am here, 92 degrees with a heat index of 102. Can't imagine if a cane came through with heat like this and losing power for a long period of time.


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.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
693. Snowlover123
4:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Levi32:
Yup rapid-scan visible loop is revealing now that I was right about Alex's center. That little pin-prick that has looked like the center is now diving SW, and the actual, broader center of circulation is becoming more evident and is moving WNW on schedule. Often over land you will see this where the very defined center from landfall starts to rotate around inside of a broader center, much like an inner eye sometimes rotates around an outer eye during an eyewall replacement cycle.


Is it just me, or in the last few frames does it look like Alex is going more NW instead of WNW?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
692. atmoaggie
4:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Levi32:


Yeah that has been shown on most of the runs. The ensembles all even agree on the beginning of a left hook towards Brownsville but then all yank it north before reaching the coast.


No. In the 12 z GFS, Alex actually starts to lose latitude...much sharper left than those.

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/index_ten_m_loop.shtml

We'll see as it goes further, but that looks like a windshield wiper of a different direction, to me, so far.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
691. louisianaboy444
4:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Link

New Blog
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
690. Levi32
4:00 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting atmoaggie:

And then Alex takes that hard left turn...
(in the operational GFS at 60 - 72 hours)


Yeah that has been shown on most of the runs. The ensembles all even agree on the beginning of a left hook towards Brownsville but then all yank it north before reaching the coast.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
689. MiamiHurricanes09
4:00 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Al a mater of timing. Didn't you say that you thought Alex was ahead of forecast track in coming off the coast? If it is , then shouldn't that put it a position to not be as influenced by the trough?
I said that it was ahead on timing when making landfall, but it turned out it wasn't. So far Alex is going right on track, like you said, it's all about timing. Let's see what the 18z model plots show, I'm thinking of a more pronounced right turn.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
688. Snowlover123
3:59 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting ATL:


Little after 2 EST I think? Time change messes me up since I usually follow the models more closely in the winter (winter weather)


Okay. Thanks.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
687. Levi32
3:59 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Yup rapid-scan visible loop is revealing now that I was correct about Alex's center. That little pin-prick that has looked like the center is now diving SW, and the actual, broader center of circulation is becoming more evident and is moving WNW on schedule. Often over land you will see this where the very defined center from landfall starts to rotate around inside of a broader center, much like an inner eye sometimes rotates around an outer eye during an eyewall replacement cycle.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
686. BahaHurican
3:58 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Morning all.

Alex looking interesting today... Someone was saying southern landfall location was better, and I generally agree.... just about anywhere along the Laguna Madre area - in Mexico or TX - is better than further north or south.... Brownsville is about the only exception. I'm only saying that because that area is prolly the least densely populated area of the Gulf coast....

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
685. atmoaggie
3:58 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Levi32:
12z GFS looks to be staying with its northerly track....showing due north movement of Alex between 24 and 48 hours.


And then Alex takes that hard left turn...
(in the operational GFS at 60 - 72 hours)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
684. PanhandleChuck
3:58 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
11am here, 92 degrees with a heat index of 102. Can't imagine if a cane came through with heat like this and losing power for a long period of time.
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1412
683. ATL
3:58 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Snowlover123:


When does the 12Z ECMWF come in?


Little after 2 EST I think? Time change messes me up since I usually follow the models more closely in the winter (winter weather)
682. MiamiHurricanes09
3:57 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Here's a good image of Alex's COC. If you click the image it will direct you to the link.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
681. Snowlover123
3:57 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting ATL:

Yep. The ECMWF is notorious for nailing down a solution early on and having the GFS move towards that...so it will be interesting if the ECMWF continues to shift north and buck the norm.


When does the 12Z ECMWF come in?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
680. Levi32
3:56 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting TexasHurricane:
Hi Everyone,

When should Alex be in the GOM?


Probably within 5 hours.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
678. Levi32
3:54 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It's probably doing that because it's over-doing the trough. I'm eager to see what the 12z ECMWF brings.


Same here. One of these days the models will be forced to come into agreement one way or the other. They can't stay this far divided forever.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
677. MiamiHurricanes09
3:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Alex wants to hurry up unless it wants its circulation to be disrupted greatly.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
676. TexasHurricane
3:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Hi Everyone,

When should Alex be in the GOM?
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
675. Snowlover123
3:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Levi32:
12z GFS looks to be staying with its northerly track....showing due north movement of Alex between 24 and 48 hours.



Wow! Alex covers half of the Gulf Of Mexico!
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
674. ATL
3:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It's probably doing that because it's over-doing the trough. I'm eager to see what the 12z ECMWF brings.

Yep. The ECMWF is notorious for nailing down a solution early on and having the GFS move towards that...so it will be interesting if the ECMWF continues to shift north and buck the norm.
673. GetReal
3:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8871
672. Patrap
3:52 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
671. AussieStorm
3:52 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Whats with the last frame of this.
Turn Trop Pts on, and look in the BOC. LOL
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
670. MiamiHurricanes09
3:51 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Levi32:
12z GFS looks to be staying with its northerly track....showing due north movement of Alex between 24 and 48 hours.

It's probably doing that because it's over-doing the trough. I'm eager to see what the 12z ECMWF brings.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
669. Patrap
3:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting msgambler:
Spent the last 2 days on a roof pressure washing and changing a broken skylight. I know the value of A/C this weekend. I really need to be outside finishing the little bit of pressure washing of the deck I have but just can't find the energy.


Be careful..as that pushing in the heat is NOT recommended.

Take a Half day and get after it after 7pm
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
668. nishinigami
3:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
Note the strength of this outer band from the NOLA Long Range.

Do the Math and see how far away it is from the CoC.

Thats a Big ol circulation gang.


Looks like I will be seeing some rain soon...
Member Since: August 24, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 221
667. Levi32
3:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Snowlover123:


Where do you think Alex is going?


I'm currently sticking with my forecast from yesterday morning calling for a landfall in northern Mexico near 25N.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
666. MiamiHurricanes09
3:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting RecordSeason:
653:

Yes, but the trough probably isn't going to pick it up entirely.

It is going to give it a brief yank to the north though, which is probably more than enough to get it into deep waters.
Not entirely but will likely have an effect on it, as so to move it more northwards.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
665. Patrap
3:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting tkeith:
same as yesterday...lol

still got 4 more full days of work before hurricane secure. got 2 bolt up crews workin today


Saw the Bridge yesterday..man its Looking buff
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
664. Levi32
3:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
12z GFS looks to be staying with its northerly track....showing due north movement of Alex between 24 and 48 hours.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
663. Snowlover123
3:49 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Levi32:


ECMWF isn't on there and the vast majority of those models displayed are the GFS ensemble members. That is not an accurate depiction of the model consensus. This is:



Where do you think Alex is going?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
662. msgambler
3:49 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:



Very am dressed and sipping Java.

Blessing my A/C unit with praise too
Spent the last 2 days on a roof pressure washing and changing a broken skylight. I know the value of A/C this weekend. I really need to be outside finishing the little bit of pressure washing of the deck I have but just can't find the energy.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
661. MiamiHurricanes09
3:48 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
By the time Alex reaches the location where you show the north turn, I believe the models show the ridge building back in. Alex will have to make a turn sooner in order to go north to northeast. Just my opinion.
Well the ridge won't be able to build back in until after the trough leaves the area.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
659. lizrod43
3:47 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
if you want Alex to hit the oil spill, then just watch the news on TV. They love this.
"Will Alex effect the oil spill??? Not yet!!!
Member Since: July 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 39
658. MiamiHurricanes09
3:47 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
656. Levi32
3:47 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Snowlover123:
Models have all shifted Northward, including the ECMWF.

http://forums.accuweather.com/uploads/post-12468-1277651631.png


ECMWF isn't on there and the vast majority of those models displayed are the GFS ensemble members. That is not an accurate depiction of the model consensus. This is:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
655. nrtiwlnvragn
3:46 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting muddertracker:
I'm not saying the gfs is right, but it does worry me a bit that the NHC seems to be discounting it alltogether. I don't think I've ever seen them do that before...


Probably because the parallel version is closer to the other guidance, ie Northern Mexico.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11154
654. Snowlover123
3:46 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Levi32:
The 06z GFS parallel shifted north and now takes Alex into Brownsville.



That's pretty much where I think Alex is heading. Brownsville TX will be ground zero for Alex.

Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
653. MiamiHurricanes09
3:46 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting AussieStorm:

Doesn't that depend on how strong the trough is and how south it pushes?
Yes. Look at water vapor. You'll see a much more defined trough than what models are predicting, I myself am waiting to see them start shifting towards the right.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
652. tkeith
3:46 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:



No need..

Hot,Hot with Scattered Hot thru the evening.



LOL
same as yesterday...lol

still got 4 more full days of work before hurricane secure. got 2 bolt up crews workin today
Member Since: November 1, 2004 Posts: 25 Comments: 8925

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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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