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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And maybe for the Louisianacasters too. Can we say to Alex: Go West, Young man!
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Just read the 5am discussion, looks like there's still some hope for the Texascasters.

Looks like all the models are shifting north too.


Lol, "some hope." Almost every single model shows Texas getting impacted by at least TS storm force winds! In the HWRF case, we have Brownsville getting impacted by the eye!

Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting Weather456:


heavily forested. Topography of the Yucatan (flat) is largely responsible for slow weakening rates rather than vegetation cover.


Amazing satellite picture this morning. I posted yesterday on the blog something to this effect that Alex would be going over flat terrain of the Yucatan... which would help to reduce the rate of weakening.

If this storm had hit Honduras at the landfall intensity of 65 mph, then at this point, it probably would have been a remnant low at this point due to the mountains. All that said, again, I am still very impressed by the satellite images this morning.
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Just read the 5am discussion, looks like there's still some hope for the Texascasters.

Looks like all the models are shifting north too.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting 1965:


Steering for Alex should he decide to RI. Judging by satellite presentation over land...


Interesting... Ridge has shifted to the East... meaning Alex could travel to the NW. Very interesting...
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting DestinJeff:
06Z HWRF



So would the HWRF be making it landfall in Brownsville?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Max wind 60mph with gust to 50mph :-) Good Morning



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Quoting Weather456:


heavily forested. Topography of the Yucatan (flat) is largely responsible for slow weakening rates rather than vegetation cover.


Marshy swamps are just inadequate to support a tropical cyclone. However, they do slow down the weakening rates slightly.
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144. IKE
Water vapor loop of the trough heading east...
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Both the CMC and the new GFS have shifted north. I expect the ECMWF to shift north also.
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142. 1965


Steering for Alex should he decide to RI. Judging by satellite presentation over land...
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Quoting P451:
Good Morning.

I see the good doctor blessed us with an early morning blog.

Here is Alex, look at that impressive core, after all this time as an invest with no core...and then BANG...one of the tightest cores you'll ever see in a storm. He is going to explode when he hits the BOC. He will make it without a problem. No dissipation over the YUC for this guy.

24HR IR Color Enhanced Loop. Ending 645AM ET. 30 Minute increments per frame. Imagery courtesy of the U of Hawaii.



Alex has really started to turn to the NW.

Look at the CMC! Someone said yesterday, that SW Louisiana was "off the hook."

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/cmc/2010062700/slp20.png
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting sporteguy03:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucatán_Peninsula

Seems the land is very swampy and marshy like the Everglades in FL, we saw this with Fay wonder why the swamps and marshes can help systems in organization.


heavily forested. Topography of the Yucatan (flat) is largely responsible for slow weakening rates rather than vegetation cover.
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Good morning...
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Quoting DestinJeff:
has there been a CONUS landfalling June major?



Once Audry in Sw La, 50 years ago.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucatán_Peninsula

Seems the land is very swampy and marshy like the Everglades in FL, we saw this with Fay wonder why the swamps and marshes can help systems in organization.
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Wow, a lot of changes overnight. I had written Alex off into Mexico and wake up this morning to an entirely different model forecast. Even the NHC seems a little jittery about the forecast. Well if I have learned anything it is these things go where they want to go, not where they are supposed to go.
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Some of the models appear to be ignoring the ridge. First thing we learned in met is that flow moves from high to low not low to high. However, they do compensate for the presence of the ridge as the models that carry Alex north of the OFCI, show it slowing down.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
00Z ECMWF Ensemble mean at 96 hours, up off of Texas



Click on image to view original size in a new window





So now the ECMWF, the COAMPS, and the HWRF bring it into at least Brownsville. Anyone noticing a pattern?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Good morning!
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
I agree with Ike. Its resumed a stronger Westerly movement now that its onto the land yet its turned the Yucatan into its tropical playground after Northing a bit in the early stages of being a land cane. A Mexico hit seems the final solution.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
trof moving into four-corners region


Whats that black cloud over Asia?
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Good Morning

Blog Update

Alex now moving over the Yucatan

I reasoned the validity of this model - the COAMPS.



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when is the troff suppose to dig in
Thanks. My 'quote function' appears not to be functioning.
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morning
it now appears that the atlantic hurricane season is about to ramp up. we now have Alex which could become a major hurricane in the Gmex then we have 94L which could be a threat to bermuda. now i am now looking at an area of disturbed weather in the CATL near 8N 40W which has some cyclonic turning as well as good convergence and divergence. this area is moving wnw. then there is this large wave over Africa which will exit the coast in two days time. we are now in this period where tropical activity has been forecast to increase
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Anywhere between Mexico and Louisiana, right now, but things are getting complicated.
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119. IKE
Quoting yonzabam:
Anyone got an estimate for when Alex's center is back over water?


I would say by this afternoon....2-4 pm.

Looks to be moving right along the NHC track....for now.
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Anyone got an estimate for when Alex's center is back over water?
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117. IKE
Appears to be moving WNW...toward the lower BOC, to me...Link
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The G-IV data is going to be huge in terms of starting to lock down a track for this storm. I'll bet the guys at the NHC are just sweating bullets as they await that data so it can be fed to the models!
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Hey Bloggers... am New To This but what is happeing to Alex For the Landfall is it Stil going to be in mexcio?
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Morning All...

I would say good, but I think I will save that for another day, when and if we see Alex going west. This storm could prove to be horrendous if it does indeed follow the GFS track with all of that time over the GOM.

The Yucatan isn't going to cause this beast much more than a hiccup, look at the tremendous amount of area it is drawing energy from. It's even taking full advantage of the Pacific and looks like it may try to digest the remanents of Darby!

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108 aquak9 "at least ya'll understood it enough to be surprised. I'm just confused."

Nothing is certain except Darth* in Texas -- GFS@132hours
Doesn't a prediction by NOGAPS guarantee it won't happen?

* Alex
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00Z ECMWF Ensemble mean at 96 hours, up off of Texas



Click on image to view original size in a new window



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110. IKE
Latest NOGAPS takes it into northern Mexico.
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at least ya'll understood it enough to be surprised.

I'm just confused.
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107. IKE
Quoting DestinJeff:
Hey, Ike. Nothing like a clear signal of outcome, huh?


Surprised by the latest discussion.
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106. IKE
To those(professional mets included), that were discounting the GFS....you may be proven wrong.

This is like trying to kill a murderer and it keeps coming back. Like a horror movie.
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TropicalStormAlex slogs through the Yucatan
Copy&paste 28.7n88.4w, TAM, MOB, PBI, SAL, 17.5N87.2W, 17.3N87.8W, 17.4N88.1W, 17.7N88.4W, 18.0N89.0W-18.3N89.4W, BZE into the GreatCircleMapper.
The red line shows the heading based on the last two positions. Below the map shows:
TSAlex had a heading of 308.2degrees (west of NW and north of WNW),
traveled a distance of 33miles* (~53kilometres) over three 3hours, and
crossed into the mountains of Belize, Guatamala, and Mexico at 11mph (~18kph).
blog1519post2715
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Tampa - Didja notice the little system off of the NC/SC border in the 000Z GFS at 144?
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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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