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 DestinJeff:
ahead of schedule?



Not at all
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251. jpsb
Quoting bwt1982:
So even though everything shows Alex going to Mexico/Texas area LA and Florida should be worried? Im not getting it. Im hoping its not the same wishcasters that were on here last night!
The trend in the models is shifting the track right, should that tread continue and should that trend be correct then you should be on guard. More then likely you are ok, but the possibility still exists that Alex might get picked up by a trof and head your way.
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So even though everything shows Alex going to Mexico/Texas area LA and Florida should be worried? Im not getting it. Im hoping its not the same wishcasters that were on here last night!
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249. jpsb
Quoting Weather456:


The Sahara cannot kill a circulation, much less the wave associated with it.
Weather (anyone) Galveston Tx here, what should I be watching for that would let me know I am going to be impacked by Alex say in 48 hours. thx.
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Merida / lic Manuel Crecencio, Mexico (Airport)

Humidity: 92%
Dew Point: 76 °F
Wind: 7 mph from the NE
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: 29.70 in (Falling)



Campeche, Camp., Mexico (Airport)
Humidity: 92%
Dew Point: 75 °F
Wind: 4 mph from the North
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: 29.60 in (Falling)


Ciudad del Carmen, MX (Airport)

Humidity: 84%
Dew Point: 77 °F
Wind: 21 mph from the North
Pressure: 29.62 in (Rising)



Based upon the last surface station reports, I'll take a guess that Alex will exit the Yucatan very near the town of Campeche, Mx.
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Quoting Weather456:


The Sahara cannot kill a circulation, much less the wave associated with it.
Good morning Weather. Hope you are feeling better. Anything going on in the South Central Caribbean or is that just the normal Colombian low or part of Alex ?
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245. WAHA
postal services have their UPS stores and their DOWNS stores. :-D

Funny thing about Alex is, it was hard for me to track. And since it just now clearly shows where the center of circulation is, my loop from Google Earth got terribly screwed. I had to take the images all over again! It ain't easy!
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In the eumetsat you can actually see that wave gaining a center of intensity in Africa
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Quoting DestinJeff:


they are pretty open about lack of skill with intensity forecasts ... typically they hit low, from what I can gather. it wasn't 24 hours ago they said TS across the BOC ... now Cat 2. You can extrapulate the rest of that thought.


I agree, their forecasts with intensities can be questionable, but it seems naturally a very difficult thing to predict. Their tracks however have gotten much better, and at times are spot on, which is amazing. Not to say that the NHC can't be wrong in track of course, far from that, but I think they're right on this one.
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I see Darby has reversed course and is heading east again. Being affected by Alex? They seem too far apart now to really tangle, as was the possibility earlier this week.
Member Since: June 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 321
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
How does that not make sense?


The Sahara cannot kill a circulation, much less the wave associated with it.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
I'm going to say that it will eventually end up far north/east of the June 270700 cone.

Link


Agreed.
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236. WAHA
Quoting P451:
Here's a 96HR (4 day) Loop of 93L/Alex. Ending 715AM ET I believe.


It's like a storm just appears...I am not good at cyclogenesology
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Wow, just noticed NHC forecasts Alex to become a category 2, pretty much just woke up.
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Quoting Weather456:


That statement does not make any sense at all.
How does that not make sense?
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232. WAHA
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Per Discussion, Alex is Fay all over again.

It's 2008? I thought that bad year was over!
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Basically there isnt much to stop Alex from steadily intensifying once in the GOM. Worst case scenario is if he decides to slow down on a NW motion.
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Quoting deautschlandfutbol:
brownsville or corpus?


I'll wait until 18z to draw a valid conclusion. For now, I am going with extreme southern Texas and northern Mexico.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Per Discussion, Alex is Fay all over again.


Lol, you're right.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
It's amazing how quickly these systems can trek across land

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Per Discussion, Alex is Fay all over again.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


give or take reasonable adjustments. yeah, i think we are starting to see the angle that Alex will emerge and it supports NHC ofcl.


Yeah, I think they have a good handle on these types of storms, they nailed Dolly's track on what, advisory #1? I just can't see it moving NW, so I'll go with NHC
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brownsville or corpus?
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223. WAHA
I haven't had my coffee either--I don't know how to make it.

As with Alex, I think it might stay in the gulf of Mexico for at most 24 hours, it's traveling awfully low.
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Quoting deautschlandfutbol:
what is ya take on i then futuremet? more north tx/la?


I think it will track toward southern Texas.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
The Sahara destroyed the amazing circulation we were seeing over Africa yesterday... not to distract anyone from the possible major hurricane alex we'll have in the gulf


That statement does not make any sense at all.
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218. jpsb
Quoting Weather456:
Good Morning

Blog Update

Alex now moving over the Yucatan

I reasoned the validity of this model - the COAMPS.



Weather that is not funny!
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Off to Church........BBL
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216. IKE
Alex is moving right along.....maybe faster then what the NHC was thinking earlier.


Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


Beyond 90W in that frame. Soon to be approaching water again.
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Quoting futuremet:


I cannot determine that at the moment. However, what these models show is reasonable.
what is ya take on i then futuremet? more north tx/la?
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Quoting DestinJeff:
what does Pre-Coffee StormW think on this?
let the man get his coffee!
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Quoting Weather456:


I know both models show a trough in the picture in 5-6 days, but will Alex even be in the GOM that long? What about the westward component the storm will undergo until these features evolve? The GFS and CMC seems a bit too far north for me.


I cannot determine that at the moment. However, what these models show is reasonable.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
what do you want to bet that NHC has it nailed.


I think that.
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Apalachicola is a beautiful little city; bascially a small oystering and shrimp town with great seafood and a nice barrier island beach (St. George Island) nearby......Not unlike what we are currently losing in LA due to the oil.... :(


My hope is that it stays well away from all that oily mess. It is bad enough already, we do not need to make a bad situation worse. I would not even want to think about what would happen if this storm heads up into the North-Central Gulf... oy vey!
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Quoting futuremet:


There is another factor that has to be considered: the CMC and the GFS are developing another trough in about 120hrs.

Between Wednesday and Friday, Alex will be located south of the ridge in the CONUS and west of the A/B ridge (CMC and GFS). This will cause a net movement toward the northwest. After Friday the trough will start to move in, and cause Alex to move in a more northerly direction. All-in-all, what these models show do not contradict the fundamentals of meteorology.

The CMC is showing a more northerly track than the GFS because it expects Alex to be stronger.



I know both models show a trough in the picture in 5-6 days, but will Alex even be in the GOM that long? What about the westward component the storm will undergo until these features evolve? The GFS and CMC seems a bit too far north for me.
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205. IKE
It's already at 90W. If you're in the panhandle of Florida you are safe from Alex, to me. Plus it's moving further and further away each hour.
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Apalachicola is a beautiful little city; bascially a small oystering and shrimp town with great seafood and a nice barrier island beach (St. George Island) nearby......Not unlike what we are currently losing in LA due to the oil.... :(
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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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