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 Seflhurricane:
here is another intresting thing 94L appears to be headed to the bahamas and maybe florida look at the spin with this.


that is not 94L, that is the ULL that beat it up lol
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If a change of course to the north,BP has said they need 120 hours to evacuate.They may need to begin soon.
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1300. JLPR2
Interesting looking area in the CATL



You may all continue tracking Alex
XD
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Quoting TexasHurricane:
wonder why there hasn't been a update on the NOAA? Maybe they are having a hard time figuring this thing out too.....


There are no watches or warnings in effect. NHC goes back to every 6 hour updates when there are no advisories.
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Been lurking around this blog for a couple of months now, and I have just signed up today. It's amazing how some people on this blog can forecast these tropical systems so well! Alex looks like he is starting to enter the BOC now, we'll probably get a better idea soon where it's going to head too, but anyone from Mexico to about central louisiana should probably be keeping a close eye on this.
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1297. amd
hurricanes101: yep, definitely at 91W. My bad, a typo on my part.
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1296. Levi32
Quoting 1900hurricane:

Naw, I was just joking around. I just thought it was interesting that we both independently noticed just about the same thing and posted it. Great minds think alike... and sometimes I get on the same brainwave too! XD

Sorry I came of as callous. T'was not the intention.


It's all good lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Regardless on what model is right...If I were in SE/S Texas I would start making preparations now, just in case this ridge doesn't hold.
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here is another intresting thing 94L appears to be headed to the bahamas and maybe florida look at the spin with this.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No...
There is a 2p discussion.,. Still on shore, moving wnw, 2 hours or so and in the boc per report.
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Quoting Levi32:


Was not copying you...if you notice you posted the ensemble mean and I followed it up with a post of the individual member spread. If you want credit for giving me the idea to look at the ensemble members, then you have it.

Naw, I was just joking around. I just thought it was interesting that we both independently noticed just about the same thing and posted it. Great minds think alike... and sometimes I get on the same brainwave too! XD

Sorry I came of as callous. T'was not the intention.
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1290. JLPR2
Quoting jasoniscoolman09:
invest94L IS MOVING WNW TO ME.


to me it looks like the ULL is stealing all the energy from 94L
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Quoting amd:


the storm just took a substantial wobble to the nw. Alex will emerge over water within an hour or two. Looks like the center is right near 19.0 N 89.0 W.


89W?

How about 91W
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wonder why there hasn't been a update on the NOAA? Maybe they are having a hard time figuring this thing out too.....
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1287. scott39
Quoting StormW:


Late tonight/early a.m., I would almost expect a turn to the NW (310-315) or possibly close to NNW for a short period.
Do you expect the ridge to build in?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6728
1286. amd
Quoting RecordSeason:
I have analyzed the inner system, and as several of us have said, there appears to be an inner vortex competing with an outer vortex, much like an eye wall replacement cycle.

Expect some significant wobbling and uncertainty over the next 6 to 12 hours.


the storm just took a substantial wobble to the nw. Alex will emerge over water within an hour or two. Looks like the center is right near 19.0 N 91.0 W.
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alex is going to miss/al
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This is the steering flow for now. This obviously will change, but don't look for any drastic changes in the short term, as far as track goes.

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So many posts coming so fast I can't keep up with them all!
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Nooooo. I hope not. A stalling behavior can mean a course change...


Check out the WV loop for the East US sector. How strong was this trough supposed to be?
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storm is now on the border of yucatan and the gulf. let the games begin.
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1279. Story
Quoting midgulfmom:
Yes indeed! While growing up in my home, hurricane Prep for an impeding storm was all that plus an ice chest for sandwiches, a transitter radio and a box of donuts.


LOL I was incharge of filling the bath tubs full of water. Looks like tomorrow I will be scrubbing them in prep for this thing.
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1278. scott39
Quoting StormW:


Late tonight/early a.m., I would almost expect a turn to the NW (310-315) or possibly close to NNW for a short period.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6728
1275. Levi32
Quoting atmoaggie:

Nooooo. I hope not. A stalling behavior can mean a course change...



It does appear to have slowed a tad in the last 2 hours.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Quoting Levi32:
Check out some of the ECMWF ensemble members from 0z last night....first time any of them took Alex into Texas (Darby's tracks are mixed in in the Bay of Campeche)



Wouldn't it be crazy if she developed in the GOM into the B storm?
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1273. 7544
hmm looking at the wv here look at the convection to the neast of alex it looks like it wants to break off and head ne look at yhe ull that lloks like its working its way down to the surface going west hmmmm could this try to pull alex ne also as he gets trap up in A TUG OF WAR JUST SOME food for thought . and how new players can change things around nothing is written in stone watch wait and see on this one

Link
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Levi, where did you get that map for the euro ensembles?
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Quoting StormW:


Late tonight/early a.m., I would almost expect a turn to the NW (310-315) or possibly close to NNW for a short period.


Are you seeing what some of the models are seeing taking this to the Upper Texas or even Louisiana Coast like the CMC i mean i see the trough digging pretty far south but your the expert i would love to know your analysis of this
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Quoting Levi32:


Was not copying you...if you notice you posted the ensemble mean and I followed it up with a post of the individual member spread. If you want credit for giving me the idea to look at the ensemble members, then you have it.

Naw, I was just joking around. I just thought it was interesting that we both independently noticed just about the same thing and posted it. Great minds think alike... and sometimes I get on the same brainwave too! XD
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I go to a scout camp for a weekend and Alex happens.

What have I missed over the past 4 days?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
are storm is all most back overe water and too me its moveing vary slow or it has stalled

Nooooo. I hope not. A stalling behavior can mean a course change...
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We are getting heavy rain in Biloxi.An outer band?
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1265. will45
I expect them to shift N untill the ridge builds back in then i look for a shift back towards Mexico
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Quoting msphar:
So it got DOWNGRADED to a TD well that is not a terrible thing at this point.
come back tonight and you will see an explosion with this thing its starting to enter the gulf of mexico with real hot water
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Quoting StormW:


With a system like this, one minute is too long


For comparison, Katrina had just 3 days 2 hours over the GOM before its first landfall in Louisiana.

Quoting Seflhurricane:
thats the worst case scenario this thing is going to explode


NHC prediction shows Alex has 3 days 12 hours over water.
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Waverunner, how far south? Cameron Cty?
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1261. msphar
So it got DOWNGRADED to a TD well that is not a terrible thing at this point.
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1260. eddye
wat is darby
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Quoting tropicallsu:
Hello Everyone, As you all know, a few days ago the EURO & most of the other major models were predicting a more Northern Landfall,then the last day or so they started trending south. Well,I feel the trend is north again.My personal opinons about the landfall is a Cat 1-3,Anywhere between Houston,TX & The mouth of the Mississippi. This system has weakened, this will help the system getting pulled north,I know the storm is Moving WNW now,but I feel within the Next 24-36 hours, This system will start to really take a more NNW track.If this system was very strong it would not feel the break in the trough, but it is not strong!!. We shall see...Bob SIDE NOTE" Watch Trends in all the models the next 24 hours.
way too north it appears like a south texas event northen mexico but all the way to the houston area and louisiana no i dont think so .
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1257. Levi32
Quoting 1900hurricane:

I just posted something similar copycat... XP But anyway, I noticed the same thing.


Was not copying you...if you notice you posted the ensemble mean and I followed it up with a post of the individual member spread. If you want credit for giving me the idea to look at the ensemble members, then you have it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
The core of Alex is about to emerge.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


slightly further north, but it is still pretty consistent on track
i am really starting to believe a south texas landfall or the border
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1253. hydrus
Quoting Tazmanian:
YAY AND OH NO BAD NEWS
I do believe our T.S. is about to change its direction of forward movement. I mean T.D. sorry...
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Hi Everyone-

Been quite a while since I was on. Was busy traveling around New Zealand (amazing btw!).

I know there is plenty being said about Alex, but I'll get back to that in a while.

Sea ice is plummeting at record rates over the past couple weeks. We could easily eclipse 2007's record low...

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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.