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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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
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting neonlazer:


I knew we couldn't live without doomcasters for long..I hope it doesn't come straight for us..
Mornin' All...don't worry, I think the name says it all.
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Quoting CADZILLA:
By Monday morning Alex will be headed to NOLA.


You got something to back that up?
Member Since: July 18, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 994
Wow, the outer-most feeder bands of Alex are going over the oil gusher!! Man alive*** Alex is a big boy. The outflow is amazing.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


It says 02DEC2009

Yes noted, Removed it.

This is Alex.



Germany 4 - England 1
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TROPICAL WEATHER...
TROPICAL STORM ALEX IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE TO THE WEST NORTHWEST
ACROSS THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO AND INTO NORTHERN MEXICO LATER
THIS WEEK. AT THIS TIME THERE IS LESS THAN A 10 PERCENT CHANCE OF
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS AFFECTING THE SOUTHEAST TEXAS AND
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA COAST OVER THE NEXT FIVE DAYS.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED.

$$
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
Morning everyone

My concern is that the NHC is underestimating the type of intensification Alex could do with a few days over the Gulf of Mexico

It appears the strength of Alex is going to have a pretty big impact on how far north it goes; and an underestimation in its eventual strength likely will also mean that they are focusing the track too far south
Exactly. The NHC is waiting about 72-84 hours before Alex becomes a hurricane. With the current conditions that can be achieved in 36 hours.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting CADZILLA:
GFS has been better than the others at forecasting this storm so far.

disagree the ECMWF has ben much better on this storm
Member Since: July 18, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 994
Quoting Levi32:
I'm not too flattered that the NAM is the model in best agreement with my forecast track lol.


haha wow...we should know in the next 12 hours as we watch how Alex strengthens when getting over water while watching the next few models runs...will certainly be interesting
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
Quoting CADZILLA:
By Monday morning Alex will be headed to NOLA.


I knew we couldn't live without doomcasters for long..I hope it doesn't come straight for us..
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Allright, Gonzo tomorrow afternoon


1. TROPICAL STORM ALEX
FLIGHT ONE - NOAA 49
A. 29/0000Z
B. NOAA9 0601A ALEX
C. 28/1730Z..........CORRECTED
D. NA
E. NA
F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT
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Morning everyone

My concern is that the NHC is underestimating the type of intensification Alex could do with a few days over the Gulf of Mexico

It appears the strength of Alex is going to have a pretty big impact on how far north it goes; and an underestimation in its eventual strength likely will also mean that they are focusing the track too far south
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
By Monday morning Alex will be headed to NOLA.
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I'm not too flattered that the NAM is the model in best agreement with my forecast track lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
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
Blog Update

Alex now moving over the Yucatan
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Quoting CADZILLA:
GFS has been better than the others at forecasting this storm so far.


No way, GFS barely showed the system for days before it happened, ECMWF is the one that hs done the best with this system
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
.
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I swear, the GFS and its ensembles keeps taking this thing farther and farther away from Mexico. 06z DGEX is now at a LA/TX storm.
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GFS has been better than the others at forecasting this storm so far.
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You can definitely see on MIMIC on the last couple of frames the storm was pushed due west, maybe even a tad bit south of due west, but on like the last frame it looks like it resumes it's previous WNW-NW movement.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
This looks weird....





It says 02DEC2009
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Quoting Levi32:


It should be back over water within 6 hours.


Oh goodie.... we'll have something to watch then, won't we.

Very interesting stuff going on.
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Quoting louisianaboy444:
Levi, Do you think if Alex intensifies quickly that the other models will latch on...what concerns me is the BAMD model takes it quite near the GFS model or it did last night...and that is the steering model for Deeper systems


And yet it's one of the most southerly outliers of the 12z model package this morning. Lots of flip-flopping going on with the BAM suite lately, illustrating the uncertainties. I'm not sure how well the intensity guidance will catch on if Alex deepens quickly, but the models will of course be initialized with Alex's initial intensity.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Latest 48hour RUC, still shows Mexico.

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Quoting MSweatherguy:
looks like the ridge is weakening on WV
Untrue. The NHC just said that the trough is more well-defined.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Outflow in the northern bands blowing up significantly. I think that indicates Alex will indeed ramp up quickly once out over water.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


Is this the "new" or the "old" GFS?


Old....I don't know if they run ensembles on the new parallel GFS yet.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Removed
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


All those ensemble members show it going NW right now though, what I see on the Rainbow IR is just north of W. I'm confused lol.


Well they show WNW until Alex is back over water. Right now the long term motion has been WNW, but the short term as you mentioned is more westerly. As Pat mentioned, this might be due to some frictional effects, and whatever the cause, Alex should turn more towards the NW shortly, probably after exiting the coast.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting Levi32:


I don't think I've ever seen the GFS ensembles this confident in the face of disagreement from the model consensus.



Is this the "new" or the "old" GFS?
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Levi, Do you think if Alex intensifies quickly that the other models will latch on...what concerns me is the BAMD model takes it quite near the GFS model or it did last night...and that is the steering model for Deeper systems
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
...TROPICAL STORM ALEX...

THE 12Z NAM APPEARS TO BE A LITTLE BETTER DEFINED/DEEPER WITH ALEX
THROUGH THE FCST PERIOD ALOFT
AND AT THE SURFACE BUT NOT MUCH
SPREAD WITH THE FORECAST TRACK/PROGRESSION
.


...MODEL TREND GRAPHICS AT
WWW.HPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/HTML/MODEL2.SHTML...
...500 MB FORECASTS AT
WWW.HPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/H5PREF/H5PREF.SHTML...

MUSHER
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567. jpsb
Quoting AussieStorm:

I hope this doesn't happen.

me too, since I am in Galveston.
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Good morning wubloggers
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Link
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Don't look for much in the way of new COCs forming. According to the NHC 10 am discussion "...the low-level
circulation of Alex remains well defined
..." I suspect the circulation is finally broadening a bit, though.

It's interesting...I'm used to seeing the circulation broaden in size and then the pressure rise, not the other way around, as Alex has done overnight.
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Quoting Levi32:


The "regular" GFS is the operational model, which is one run, by one model, and is what we think of as "the GFS".

The GFS ensembles are different runs of the GFS with slightly different parameters, in order to try to cover all possible scenarios. The ensemble mean is not plotted on the TC track maps, but the ensemble members are and you can see where they are all going.

The GFS operational (white line) and its ensemble members are in outstanding agreement right now. One would never think that the other models are several hundred miles different. I don't think I've ever seen the GFS ensembles this confident in the face of this much disagreement from the model consensus.



All those ensemble members show it going NW right now though, what I see on the Rainbow IR is just north of W. I'm confused lol.
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PRELIMINARY EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
933 AM EDT SUN JUN 27 2010

VALID 12Z THU JUL 01 2010 - 12Z SUN JUL 04 2010


...MOISTURE/UPPER REMNANTS OF ALEX MAY BE DIRECTED NORTHWARD
THROUGH THE EASTERN PLAINS...


...PRELIMINARY UPDATE...

THE PRELIMINARY FRONTS AND PRESSURES FOR DAYS 3 THROUGH 7 WERE
UPDATED USING THE 00Z ECENS MEAN...WITH THE TPC FORECAST FOR ALEX
ACROSS THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS MORNINGS GUIDANCE IS MORE
TIGHTLY CLUSTERED THAT YESTERDAYS WITH THE POLAR JET DURING THE
MEDIUM RANGE...WITH THE ECENS MEAN...ECMWF...UKMET...AND CMCE MEAN
ALL VERY CLOSE AND HONORING CONTINUITY BETTER THAN THE GFS AND
GEFS PRODUCTS. THE NEW DEVELOPMENT IS THE LARGE QUANTITY OF
GUIDANCE THAT TAKES SOME ASPECT OF ALEX NORTHWARD THROUGH TEXAS
AND THE EASTERN GREAT PLAINS LATE IN THE PERIOD. THERE MAY NOT BE
MUCH SURFACE REFLECTION...WITH THE GEM GLOBAL A LOW PROBABILITY
OUTLIER...BUT ENOUGH MID LEVEL ENERGY AND DEEP LAYERED MOISTURE
MAY BE ABLE TO TRACK UP THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE...ON A GENTLE ARC FROM EASTERN TEXAS TO IOWA BY THE END OF
DAY 7...TO THREATEN THIS SWATH OF TERRITORY WITH HEAVY RAINS.
ADDITIONALLY...THE POLAR FRONT BOTTOMING OUT ALONG THE NORTHERN
GULF COAST IS LIKELY TO AFFORD AN INTENSE OVERRUNNING
ZONE...INTERCEPTING THE SURGE OF TROPICAL AIR WORKING UP THE
BACKSIDE OF THE UPPER RIDGE. THE NORTHWEST SHOULD SEE A CONTINUED
INFLUX OF MARITIME POLAR AIR OFF THE PACIFIC...THOUGH RAINFALL
SHOULD BE LIMITED BY MOSTLY CHANNELED VORTICITY.


CISCO
A
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Quoting Levi32:


Until I see a major change or trend in the models or Alex's movement, I will stick with my forecast from yesterday morning calling for a landfall in Mexico near 25N, which is currently to the north of the NHC and model consensus.

I hope this doesn't happen.

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Ok, Thanks for the explanation! This slightly concerns me cause I am in south-central LA..lol
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Quoting BaltOCane:
Good Morning All!

Looks like our Alex has survived it's trip thru the Yucatan for now.

Is there an ETA on when it's expected to emurge over the BOC today?

Looks like a lot of north-ward shifting models, no bueno...


It should be back over water within 6 hours.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Good Morning All!

Looks like our Alex has survived it's trip thru the Yucatan for now.

Is there an ETA on when it's expected to emurge over the BOC today?

Looks like a lot of north-ward shifting models, no bueno...
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Quoting MSweatherguy:
looks like the ridge is weakening on WV


Link?
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looks like the ridge is weakening on WV
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ALEX Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting neonlazer:


Oh ok, so the page with GFS ensembles is just GFS runs in every way possible and they combine it all to make the GFS model on the "reliable" model page..


The "regular" GFS is the operational model, which is one run, by one model, and is what we think of as "the GFS".

The GFS ensembles are different runs of the GFS with slightly different parameters, in order to try to cover all possible scenarios. The ensemble mean is not plotted on the TC track maps, but the ensemble members are and you can see where they are all going.

The GFS operational (white line) and its ensemble members are in outstanding agreement right now. One would never think that the other models are several hundred miles different. I don't think I've ever seen the GFS ensembles this confident in the face of this much disagreement from the model consensus.

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

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

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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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