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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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...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
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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)


I just posted something similar copycat... XP But anyway, I noticed the same thing.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
i would pay attention to the ECMWF model it has nailed everything Alex has done so far and the trend with that model has been further north


slightly further north, but it is still pretty consistent on track
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1248. scott39
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Looks like Alex is still on land.
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and they will continue to shift this has miss/al written all over it
i would pay attention to the ECMWF model it has nailed everything Alex has done so far and the trend with that model has been further north
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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.
I grew up in Florida and I remember that when we would go out to dinner the placemaps were hurricane tracking maps.I also remember that before satelite imaging,we would go out and look at the waves to evaluate whether a storm was close or not.
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Quoting Progster:
"THE 12Z GFS IS CONTAINING SIGNIFICANT
CONVECTIVE FEEDBACK ISSUES WHICH AFFECTS THE DAY 2 AND 3 QPF...

Convective feedback creates anomalous vertical motion in the area of the gridpoint storms which in turn creates anomalously low surface pressure in the model in the same area. So if convective feedback is appearing over the gulf then the pressure pattern will be incorrectly altered and not reliable.


Yup and IMHO, they will continue to shift east.
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1242. 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)

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Quoting wfyweather:
omg 12z dynamic models have significantly shifted

Expect the statistical ones to do so too.
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Quoting Patrap:
A newer Coc seems to be taking over on the direct N of the Older decaying one as it swings almost into the drink proper.

Now the Afternoon is going to bring some changes big time.

Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop



I'm inclined to pay close attention to that. I think you may be on to something. I'm watching those convective bands on the north end of and to the north of the Yucatan ... they are doing interesting things. Should be an interesting afternoon/evening.
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The game is afoot, boys and girls.

Water Vapor, East US sector.
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1238. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Later all. I'll check back in when there actually is an advisory to post, LOL!
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YAY AND OH NO BAD NEWS
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"THE 12Z GFS IS CONTAINING SIGNIFICANT
CONVECTIVE FEEDBACK ISSUES WHICH AFFECTS THE DAY 2 AND 3 QPF...

Convective feedback creates anomalous vertical motion in the area of the gridpoint storms which in turn creates anomalously low surface pressure in the model in the same area. So if convective feedback is appearing over the gulf then the pressure pattern will be incorrectly altered and not reliable.
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omg 12z dynamic models have significantly shifted

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Quoting scott39:
I see slightly N of the NHC points.


That may be true esp. with the last couple of frames, before that I thought slightly S. It really does look like it may be making its move NW..will be able to tell better in an hour if that holds up...
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hello all. just here watching the ever unpredictable ALEX.. so last night Corpus Christi was out of the "the cone of error". I woke up today and CC is once again in it.. can someone explain what COULD steer this storm back north??
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1230. Liza24
Quoting waverunner:
South Texas here. We are having disaster preparedness meetings. Maybe a Dolly repeat of 2008.
Oh geez hope not.. but im thinking it won't head for us..we just have to wait and see though
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Quoting watchingnva:
i just gotta know...who all in here is from texas....if you are ....say so...


Houston
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Quoting xcool:



MAKE YOU MIND UP euro


Looks just like the previous run. Maybe stronger.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting ElConando:
No 2pm advisory?
No...
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Quoting ElConando:
No 2pm advisory?


not watches or warnings are issued, so nope
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Quoting scott39:
I remember the good old days when i was a kid, way before the internet, and i would get my Hurricane tracking chart and listen to the met with the latest coordinates. I would use the same one for a couple of years and it would be cool to look at. I miss the good ole days.LOL
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.
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I think alex will surprise all of us and make a miss/al landfall the track will contine going right it all ways does
No 2pm advisory?
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1222. xcool



MAKE YOU MIND UP euro
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Jeeze, Pat you still have that warning map that you posted a couple of days ago? I think it might be appropriate with all of this madness in here. LOL
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Quoting stoormfury:
nice looking wave in the catl 1200 miles ese of the winward islands
It looks like it MIGHT have a little of a mid-level spin.
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Alex about to re-emerge, if it hasn't already.

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1218. scott39
Quoting weatherwonderer:
While it may be possible (maybe probable) in the last couple frames that Alex is finally moving more NW, he has been going a bit South of NHC points. Gonna have to make that turn before almost any of the models are accurate.
I see slightly N of the NHC points.
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I noticed that the 00Z ECMWF ensembles have started to trend slightly further north than the latest ECMWF and what it was previously showing.



I said last night that I did not anticipate a move in the ECMWF's forecast, but now that it's ensemble members are trending slightly north, I would not be surprised to see the operational ECMWF start to shift northwards as well, especially if the trend continues. Everyone has been praising the ECMWF for it's track forecast of Alex, but the ensemble nailed that track down when the operational was showing a 950 mb hurricane rolling into Mobie Bay. It's too early to tell, but if the 12Z ECMWF comes in a little more north than previously and the ensembles continue to trend north of that, something will definitely be up.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
1167:

I agree.

People put too much focus on the "official" cone of uncertainty thing, IMO.

Everyone should always remember that forecasting is a best educated guess based on our present understanding of physics, combined with experience and hunches, but there is still a lot of room for error, and storms often do the exact opposite of forecast.

Betsy
Gordon
Katrina

Are all infamous for doing completely unexpected turns off the coast of Florida, as example.
Actually the UKMET/ECMWF did quite well with Katrina...GFS performed horribly.
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Hey txalways... sorry, trying to keep up with the blog and a 3 year old is not easy! How are ya?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Here we go...!



There's almost a clear patch surrounding all of Alex except its southwestern quadrant, hmm...
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Quoting 7544:
north east lol


What the...?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting xcool:
PAGE 24
I mean after 48 hours.
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While it may be possible (maybe probable) in the last couple frames that Alex is finally moving more NW, he has been going a bit South of NHC points. Gonna have to make that turn before almost any of the models are accurate.
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1210. ATL
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Can you post it?


Much of the content is subscription based and comes out earlier...long and short of it is that the ECMWF is holding steady.
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1209. xcool
PAGE 24
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Just a quick thanks to all image posters. Much appreciated. I have an old computer and UGH! still on dial-up and it takes me a LONG TIME to retrieve images. So thanks! BTL...
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Quoting xcool:
ECMWF more N
Can you post it?
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This is just my personal opinion...take that for what its worth...lmao



alex should be sliding into the gulf over the next 2-3 hours...

i do see a more northwesterly turn tomorrow evening, but it wont go nnw, and the furthest north im seeing right now isn't much further than Brownsville, TX....

strength wise....cat1/low end cat 2...

will have to see how things look tonight...
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Quoting Torgen:
All kidding aside, I wonder if all the hurricanes and storms over the Yucatan every year is why the Mayan civilization collapsed? I remember reading somewhere that they engaged in massive deforestation to support their large cities, and can only imagine the erosion, mudslides etc every single year.

Can you imagine trying to deal with recovering from that without wheels, carts, draft animals, or communications other than sending men running from town to town?



You're on to something. Try reading "Floods, Famines, And Emperors: El Nino And The Fate Of Civilizations" by archaeologist Brian Fagan if you're interested in weather impacts to the Maya and other pre-conquest peoples.
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1204. xcool
7544 HUH
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1203. scott39
I remember the good old days when i was a kid, way before the internet, and i would get my Hurricane tracking chart and listen to the met with the latest coordinates. I would use the same one for a couple of years and it would be cool to look at. I miss the good ole days.LOL
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1202. xcool
txag91met ME TO
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.