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 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
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Quoting msgambler:
Morning Pat, How are you this muggy am?



Very am dressed and sipping Java.

Blessing my A/C unit with praise too
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Models have all shifted Northward, including the ECMWF.

http://forums.accuweather.com/uploads/post-12468-1277651631.png
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
No worries on the GFS thing..the NHC has the Guy that does the TPS reports over the weekend keep an eye on it.

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Quoting Levi32:
The 06z GFS parallel shifted north and now takes Alex into Brownsville.



Uh oh, that's not good for Texas.
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Blog Update!

- June 27, 2010 - 11:25 AM EDT - Alex Downgraded To TD Status - Quick Update -

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Morning Pat, How are you this muggy am?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It would, but there is a trough pushing it away.

Doesn't that depend on how strong the trough is and how south it pushes?
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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...
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Quoting tkeith:
haven't even looked out da window yet :)



No need..

Hot,Hot with Scattered Hot thru the evening.



LOL
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Quoting Patrap:


Morning Man o steel

Hows the relax going on a Sunday?
haven't even looked out da window yet :)
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The 06z GFS parallel shifted north and now takes Alex into Brownsville.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
Quoting ATL:


Liking the GooFuS I see. I'm still doubting that kind of solution with the steadfast ECMWF continuing to insist on a more southerly solution...just can't see almost due north per the GFS. US/MX border hit seems reasonable if you want to give some weight to the GFS/CMC along with the Euro and rest of the gang.
I hope to see the ECMWF shift a little further north. The plain westward motion seems off to me.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting tkeith:
roger that...


Morning Man o steel

Hows the relax going on a Sunday?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Here's an idea of the type of track I'm thinking of right now.



I'm thinking more of a 25 N landfall, like Levi.
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Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
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Quoting Patrap:
One needs a LARGE disclaimer when Overlaying a Crayon on a Official Map..

roger that...
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634. ATL
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Here's an idea of the type of track I'm thinking of right now.



Liking the GooFuS I see. I'm still doubting that kind of solution with the steadfast ECMWF continuing to insist on a more southerly solution...just can't see almost due north per the GFS. US/MX border hit seems reasonable if you want to give some weight to the GFS/CMC along with the Euro and rest of the gang.
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Here's my thinking of the models:

GFS = Great For Some
CMC = Constantly Making Cyclones
NOGAPS = NO Good At Predicting Stuff
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Wouldn't land interaction pull it towards Mexico?
It would, but there is a trough pushing it away.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
One needs a LARGE disclaimer when Overlaying a Crayon on a Official Map..

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






Dasa one biga stom!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Here's an idea of the type of track I'm thinking of right now.


Wouldn't land interaction pull it towards Mexico?
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Quoting scottsvb:


there both stacked together still levi


I didn't say decoupling. I said the center may be a little broader and that pin-prick that we're calling the center in visible imagery may not be representing the overall motion of the system correctly. If it takes on a southerly component in the next few hours then I'm probably right, because there is not much of a way for Alex to move with any southerly component right now. Alex's overall movement looks like it's still on track with the NHC forecast.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
How long do you think it will be before Alex makes it to the GOM?
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Quoting Snowlover123:


Good Late- Morning, Early Afternoon!

Not really. I could argue that it has a slight northward shift.
Yeah it was a slight northwards shift.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Levi32:


Ha, never even close. It was always the ECMWF - Eternally Correct Model for Weather Forecasting
LOL! I like that one.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Actually looks like a slight southwards shift.


Good Late- Morning, Early Afternoon!

Not really. I could argue that it has a slight northward shift.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Here's an idea of the type of track I'm thinking of right now.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Levi32:
Looking at the core of Alex, it is actually still moving the way it's supposed to be, towards the WNW, while the little pin-prick in the visible imagery that looks like the center continues due west. I have a feeling that what we are looking at as the center may be becoming part of a slightly broader center that is still moving WNW on schedule, and the actual movement is not as westerly in the short term as it might appear. We may even see that pin-prick that we're calling the center start to move WSW in the next few hours. If it does, that will be a sign that it is beginning to rotate around a broader center.

Visible Loop


there both stacked together still levi
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1689
My July outlook will be posted July 31 at 11:15 p.m.
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NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NMI




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Quoting GetReal:



5 or 6 days ago the GFS never even latched on, and developed a TD... But since coming on board the solutions that the GFS has been spitting out are not unreasonable. Once upon a time, the GFS was considered to be God's Forecasting System!


Ha, never even close. It was always the ECMWF - Eternally Correct Model for Weather Forecasting
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
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.
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Outer band approaching Brownsville, TX

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Quoting MrstormX:


One of them is GFS ensembles only.

why does wunderground give GFS its own window?
out of all the models i thought it was one of the more unreliable ones no?
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
I find it very interesting that for the previous 5-6 days many were discounting the GFS and now many people want to jump on board because it shows a track that is more interesting to them. Make up your mind.



5 or 6 days ago the GFS never even latched on, and developed a TD... But since coming on board the solutions that the GFS has been spitting out are not unreasonable. Once upon a time, the GFS was considered to be God's Forecasting System!
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8896
Quoting Hurricanes101:
The center of Alex is still very well-defined, maybe even moreso than it was before its intensification before landfall

I see Alex having no issues strengthening when he gets into the BOC and it could be quicker than forecast
Agreed. I was thinking the same thing earlier, for a tropical depression that has been inland for so long it definitely has a well-defined COC. It's outflow channels and banding is also pretty impressive.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Weather456:
My July outlook will be posted next Sunday, 4 July.
could you order sunshine and clear calm weather for key west please...lmao j/k
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Quoting oddspeed:
anyone know why the two modeling windows here are so different ?


One's the models themselves, the other is the ensemble members of the GFS.

Quoting Weather456:
My July outlook will be posted next Sunday, 4 July.


Great! Looking forward to it!
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12Z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
ALEX
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)






Early Model Wind Forecasts













Evacuation Considerations for the Elderly, Disabled and Special Medical Care Issues

Your Evacuation Plan


Disaster Supplies Kit


NOAA Alert Weather Radio's


"Think outside the Cone"
hurricanebuddy.com
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Quoting oddspeed:
anyone know why the two modeling windows here are so different ?


One of them is GFS ensembles only.
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Looking at the core of Alex, it is actually still moving the way it's supposed to be, towards the WNW, while the little pin-prick in the visible imagery that looks like the center continues due west. I have a feeling that what we are looking at as the center may be becoming part of a slightly broader center that is still moving WNW on schedule, and the actual movement is not as westerly in the short term as it might appear. We may even see that pin-prick that we're calling the center start to move WSW in the next few hours. If it does, that will be a sign that it is beginning to rotate around a broader center.

Visible Loop
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
Quoting RecordSeason:
Someone post the convergence and divergence charts, I want to see something.


Divergence:



Convergence:

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My July outlook will be posted next Sunday, 4 July.
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anyone know why the two modeling windows here are so different ?
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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.