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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1202. xcool
txag91met ME TO
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1201. 7544
north east lol
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Quoting txag91met:
I already have it.
Nevermind.
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1199. xcool
ECMWF more N
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Quoting Snowlover123:


The 12Z ECMWF hasn't even come out yet!
I already have it...Tampico, MX, similar to the 12z UKMET.
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1197. Patrap
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Storm, do you buy at all the CMC model run??
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Quoting Tazmanian:
this blog is moveing lol


Yes but West or Northwest?
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I'll be back later.
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are storm is all most back overe water and too me its moveing vary slow or it has stalled
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1191. Patrap
NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans, Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 1.45 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI

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1190. tkeith
Quoting Tazmanian:
polo
LOL...Amy would be proud :)
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Quoting xcool:
Levi32






Is this further north than before? *Suspense kills* :P
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting StormW:


Recommendation, don't make a new forecast map yet.


I kind of want to see what the latest factors are, I might add intensity on this next one, the last one I left it out because I was unsure. Not trying to put doomsday on people, but anticyclones can make systems powerful. I need to see the next model runs before I make a second call. Might just keep the track on TX/MX for now, unless the BAMM runs start shifting north. BTW, I appreciate your input and analysis :)
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South Texas here. We are having disaster preparedness meetings. Maybe a Dolly repeat of 2008.
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Quoting xcool:
Levi32




Link?
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This storm is so wide we can expect to see a lot of rain across the whole Gulf coast.
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1184. nash28
Afternoon all. Been away from the tropics for the last two days. Work and today went to see Knight and Day. I got some serious catching up to do.
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1183. xcool
look
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Quoting txag91met:

12z ECMWF not on board.


The 12Z ECMWF hasn't even come out yet!
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
polo
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Quoting xcool:
i have new ECMw
Link please?
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euro 48 hours

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Quoting Levi32:


If the ECMWF shifts north and takes it into Texas then that would be very bad news for everyone. One of these run cycles the models will eventually have to agree. They can't stay this far split forever. As landfall time approaches they will gradually come into better agreement, but which side will it be...
Indeed.
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1177. Levi32
Quoting xcool:
i have new ECMw


What site? You keep saying you have them much earlier than they come out on the sites we use.
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this blog is moveing lol
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Quoting txag91met:

12z ECMWF not on board.


12Z ECMWF is not out yet
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
what rain bands there is no rain on the long range or short range doppler radar only some rain over the everglades ?????


The outer bands are producing little rain, but storms in Florida are flaring up just ahead of it.



Quoting Seflhurricane:
guys remember there is no 2PM advisory for those who are waiting for it all watches and warnings were dropped earlier


Why has a TS warning not ben issued for Tabasco?!

Quoting MrstormX:


Nice circulation for being over land so long.


Reminds of me Marco 2008.
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1173. xcool
i have new ECMw
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1171. Levi32
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If the ECMWF jumps on board...


If the ECMWF shifts north and takes it into Texas then that would be very bad news for everyone. One of these run cycles the models will eventually have to agree. They can't stay this far split forever. As landfall time approaches they will gradually come into better agreement, but which side will it be...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If the ECMWF jumps on board...

12z ECMWF not on board.
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1169. 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?
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I am from South Central Texas and last year we had Tropical Storms and Hurricanes get within 100 miles of us and we got very little rain out of any of the systems, stayed on dry side of them.
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


Hi Storm,

What are your thoughts today on Alex? Should us on the northern TX coast be on the lookout?


You should know by now..Everyone should be on the "lookout" including me and I live over in the Tampa area in Florida. This storm is capable of doing anything. As is the case with any tropical system.
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UKMET Office a little further north than before.


TROPICAL DEPRESSION ALEX ANALYSED POSITION : 18.4N 89.8W

ATCF IDENTIFIER : AL012010

VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY
-------------- -------- -------- --------
12UTC 27.06.2010 18.4N 89.8W WEAK
00UTC 28.06.2010 19.5N 91.4W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
12UTC 28.06.2010 20.6N 92.7W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
00UTC 29.06.2010 20.9N 93.1W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
12UTC 29.06.2010 21.9N 93.7W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 30.06.2010 22.9N 95.2W MODERATE LITTLE CHANGE
12UTC 30.06.2010 22.9N 97.2W STRONG INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY
00UTC 01.07.2010 23.4N 98.9W WEAK WEAKENING RAPIDLY
12UTC 01.07.2010 23.7N 97.4W WEAK WEAKENING RAPIDLY
00UTC 02.07.2010 BELOW TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH
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4-5 Days in the Gulf.....

One word that describes the above words....


YIKES!!!!!!
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Quoting Levi32:


If Alex happens to take the GFS/CMC track east of Corpus Christi, then it could potentially rival Audrey for the strongest June storm ever, though it would be close because the end of the month would be near landfall time. That much time over water with a northern track like that, coupled with slow movement due to weaker steering currents, could allow this one to blow.



thats bad news
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chances Alex goes anywhere east of TX/LA border are very slim at this time
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1162. txjac
Quoting watchingnva:
im just curious....who all from texas calling for a texas landfall...just trying to understand things...lol


From Texas here as well ..like others, not going to call where it will be ...but at my place we are ready!
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Quoting Levi32:


If Alex happens to take the GFS/CMC track east of Corpus Christi, then it could potentially rival Audrey for the strongest June storm ever, though it would be close because the end of the month would be near landfall time.


OMG bad Levi! Bad! lol....Wouldnt that be something though..to not only surpass it but make landfall in the same place
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1160. USSINS
South/Southeast winds now off the beach with thunderpoppers in the sound from the outflow off of Alex. Wow! Some, what, 700-800 miles away?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Don't worry about it. It's pretty funny.




oh ok then
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Quoting StormW:


Good afternoon.

Hey how is it going...I am def not a fan of the models making such a major shift so close to landfall. We are already getting TS here in southern MS...awesome buildups all around my house. I do need a quick rain shower for the fertilzer that was put down yesterday haha.
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1157. Patrap
The G-4 Goes Wheels up 00Z Monday Evening EDT
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Going to update my site and post my latest forecast track along with my blog. Be back in a few.
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Quoting Levi32:


If Alex happens to take the GFS/CMC track east of Corpus Christi, then it could potentially rival Audrey for the strongest June storm ever, though it would be close because the end of the month would be near landfall time.
If the ECMWF jumps on board...
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Quoting StormW:


Recommendation, don't make a new forecast map yet.


Agreed don't even bother with it until operationally we see what is going on over water.
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Quoting StormW:


Recommendation, don't make a new forecast map yet.


Hi Storm,

What are your thoughts today on Alex? Should us on the northern TX coast be on the lookout?
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This storm should be tooken seriously,a hurricane in june is rare enough...a Major hurricane in june,well.

I wasn't even alive then.
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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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