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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1352. hydrus
11:45 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
..................It has been shear city over there Taz.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20514
1351. portcharlotte
7:37 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
There is a weak upper low over Texas per 500 mb analysis and the vapor image. I would believe that this upper level system could induce a more northerly coursr IMO.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 703
1350. lopaka001
7:32 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Is Alex moving on a more western track now?
Member Since: February 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
1348. LSU791
7:20 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
I live just norrth of N.O. and according to the radar these thunderstorms are from the northern most bands of Alex. If this os any indication of what he can become "BEWARE."
1347. louisianaboy444
7:19 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Winds definately picking up here in SW La...Some kind of pressure Gradient is goingg down
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1342
1346. portcharlotte
7:18 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Take a look at the convection being more robust and spreading north and east. Many times the direction of the convection bulging is a precursor of the future track! There are no special formulas to use
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 703
1345. 1fromnovasscotia
7:18 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Hmm water tempatures in the gulf are very high, its almost like a warm eddy of water over southern texas.I wonder if its possible that the oil spill may have contributed to the increase in water tempature in the gulf being a dark colour and all and the daytime heating from the sun.This storm even though weakened now is very large in size and that concerns me, because once it ememerges into the gulf and it gains good circulation.I'm hoping that it does not slow down and stays on westerly track towards a low populated area.I guess we will find out soon, and even though i'm from Canada i will be praying for you all from eastern Mexico to southern Texas.I don't wan't to see a Celia or Darby occur in the gulf, because the water temps are very high and wind shear low, the intensity forecasts on those 2 storms was lost completely once they wen't into rapid intensifaction mode, fighting through the wind shear with great circulation, and water temps less than what is the gulf.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 36
1344. LSU791
7:15 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Forecast as defined by Websters is "a prediction of how things will turn out." Well I have been reading the multiple forecasts for the last couple of days. At the beginning forecasters agreed on Louisiana to slightly possible Florida panhandle landfall. Then suddenly the weather threw all forecasters a curveball and predictions changed considerably south. That bring us to today. It resmbles a card game when I was a kid called 52 card pick up. Cards are everywhere and noone knows which card to pick up. I believe it was yesterday someone made reference to Alex having an "Ace" trump card yet to be thrown. Well don't look now but Alex may just be hinting that he will drop that card and blow everyones mind. If I were a gambler I would not bet the house. Based on what I have been reading anyone from TX/MX to LA/MS needs to pay close attention. Afterall there are quite a few casinos between LA/MS maybe he wants to play
1343. tropicallsu
7:12 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
New Euro still says Northern Mexico & Southern Texas, Wake up Mr.Euro your uncle GFS says so lol. Hey, I am putting all my eggs in the Houston to Eastern Louisiana basket. Just my opinion..We shall see
1342. A4Guy
7:08 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Hellsniper223:
IMHO...

Storms have a tendency to make up their own minds. And as I've observed in the past, the NHC track is just about on the money 90% of the time.

I've seen battles on this blog regarding the What-If's of steering currents and pressure gradients for a few years now... And no one person has been as accurate as the NHC.

While I can't discount the idea of a holistic shift in model agreement towards the north, I can predict that based on the accuracy of the NHC in the past, they'll probably be right in this case.

South TX/Mexico is probably as far as it'll go.

Upon review of WV imagery, and local RGB and other enhanced loops, there is a distinct possibility of a COC reformation towards the north and a beefier trough. My initial thought on landfall was between the TX/LA border and the AL/FL border.

However, until I see the NHC shift their track to the north, I cannot rely on my own observations. I lack a degree and a team of professionals backing my observations.


Amen. The NHC isn't infallible, but they know what they are doing, for sure. The best and brightest in their field. They have good reason when they dismiss model output...but will adjust the forecast accordingly when appropriate.

Plenty of people on this blog know a lot about meteorology, and I find their analyses very helpful, and often give more information than NHC is willing to give, since there are too many variables (and they have to produce a forecast people can rely on). Too many others on this blog are just throwing darts at a board..which is fine - but you need to know who you can trust with providing accurate info, vs. the wishers (oh...that's a dirty word).
Member Since: June 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
1341. Grothar
7:05 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting charlottefl:
Crossing the Yucatan actually helped Alex. The storm had been struggling with consolidating a tight inner core. It doesn't have that problem anymore. The friction with land helped to tighten the storm up. I believe we're gonna see fairly quick intensification rates when he gets back over open water.


New blog charlotte. refresh and go to the new one
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
1340. charlottefl
7:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Crossing the Yucatan actually helped Alex. The storm had been struggling with consolidating a tight inner core. It doesn't have that problem anymore. The friction with land helped to tighten the storm up. I believe we're gonna see fairly quick intensification rates when he gets back over open water.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
1339. stormpetrol
6:56 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
center of Alex very close to emerging off mainland Mexico into the warm waters of the Gulf.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7682
1338. tropicaltank
6:55 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
I concur. a jog to the north.
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 242
1337. weatherwonderer
6:55 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting 2010hurricaneseason:
From the satellite it looks like it's moving quite a bit further north in the last couple of frames


Yes it does, but be careful of those last couple of frames, it has fooled all of us countless times.
Member Since: July 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 167
1336. 2010hurricaneseason
6:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
From the satellite it looks like it's moving quite a bit further north in the last couple of frames
Member Since: June 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 58
1335. midgulfmom
6:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


After 28 hours, there would be more than a new bl0g.



Clustered to a Mexico track, but one path heading directly over Galveston Island. What do the split red lines represent? And it would be interesting if Darby got absorbed into Alex or it made it into the BOC with circulation intact.
Oh my... Is it possible that Darby could be absorbed into Alex? Anyone?
Member Since: July 9, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1110
1334. Col15thTex
6:51 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting CaneAddict

Tex/La border based on What???
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 36
1333. Snowlover123
6:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Alright guys, I'm leaving, to come on in a couple of hours when the Euro releases. Bye!

-Snowlover123
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
1332. lickitysplit
6:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
I'm putting my money on a sharp turn west on Monday putting Alex in Mexico soon after -well south of the TX border.

If I win, you can all blow me kisses.
Member Since: May 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 631
1331. tropicaltank
6:50 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
I was always afraid that the bath tub was not cleaned enough!We also used the water to flush the toilet.
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 242
1330. AstroHurricane001
6:47 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I mean after 48 hours.


After 28 hours, there would be more than a new bl0g.

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)



Clustered to a Mexico track, but one path heading directly over Galveston Island. What do the split red lines represent? And it would be interesting if Darby got absorbed into Alex or it made it into the BOC with circulation intact.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1328. tropicallsu
6:46 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
I am giving my own opinions about this storm,as I stated I beleive this is a Cat 1-3 US Landfall,Houston,TX To The Mouth of The Mississippi. I beleive this storm will suprise many folks,When the storm starts heading for Mexico lookout, I beleive this system will turn on a dime heading for the North.By the time it starts its Northward path, I beleive this will be a hurricane,To me, this is all being set up for a Northern Gulf Coast landfall. Weak at first, Then stronger as it heads north, as the system begins its northern path, I feel it will slow down a good bit, then regain its forward speed. We shall See???
1327. WatchingThisOne
6:45 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting tropicaltank:
If a change of course to the north,BP has said they need 120 hours to evacuate.They may need to begin soon.


Yes, 120 hours until the onset of gale force winds. So don't be watching the COC model time frames on a large, strong storm. The time frame to gale force winds will be shortened by a large wind field. Kind of obvious, but worth keeping in mind.
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1262
1326. midgulfmom
6:45 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Story:


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.
OMG..YES! I forgot about that... as if I was gonna drink that! but I guess I would if I had too! LOL...

Great Memories Tropical Tank... I remember the Gulf Coast placemats with Miss. on them and the landmarks, etc.. at Annies in Pass Christian.
Member Since: July 9, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1110
1325. Hellsniper223
6:44 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
IMHO...

Storms have a tendency to make up their own minds. And as I've observed in the past, the NHC track is just about on the money 90% of the time.

I've seen battles on this blog regarding the What-If's of steering currents and pressure gradients for a few years now... And no one person has been as accurate as the NHC.

While I can't discount the idea of a holistic shift in model agreement towards the north, I can predict that based on the accuracy of the NHC in the past, they'll probably be right in this case.

South TX/Mexico is probably as far as it'll go.

Upon review of WV imagery, and local RGB and other enhanced loops, there is a distinct possibility of a COC reformation towards the north and a beefier trough. My initial thought on landfall was between the TX/LA border and the AL/FL border.

However, until I see the NHC shift their track to the north, I cannot rely on my own observations. I lack a degree and a team of professionals backing my observations.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
1324. bohonkweatherman
6:43 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
I think the worse case would be a Cat 5 anywhere
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
1323. weatherwonderer
6:43 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting 2010hurricaneseason:
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.

Yes, except for a couple trouble makers that come on..this a very talented group. I used to blog quite a bit on this myself and learned a lot from these people. I have taken meteorology classes and worked as a weather observer for an airport in Illinois for a while and still there is much to learn (I'm a microbiologist by trade). I remember when StormW wasn't so well known..I'm glad he earned his status as a premier blogger here. I started out with bloggers like Stormtop...kinda miss his sometimes wild but usually interesting blogs.
Member Since: July 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 167
1322. tropicaltank
6:42 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Worst case senario = Cat 3 just west on NOLA.
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 242
1320. RitaEvac
6:41 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
This thing is so far down in Lattitude it will have to move NW now to be threat to TX
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
1319. Chicklit
6:41 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting CybrTeddy:


There are no watches or warnings in place, so no 2 pm advisory.

...sorry, Discussion
Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


000
AXNT20 KNHC 271807 CCA
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT SUN JUN 27 2010

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11178
1318. CaneAddict
6:40 PM GMT on June 27, 2010


Latest forecast....Blog update
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2151
1317. gbreezegirl
6:39 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
here in the panhandle I don't wish this on anyone, but I really wish it away from here.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 274
1316. 1900hurricane
6:39 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
NEW BLOG!!!

And I got first. Heh heh... XD
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
1315. Hurricanes101
6:38 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Chicklit:
Hi! Alex was at 18.7N, 90W at 2 p.m. advisory.
That would still give it a few hours until it gets into water.


The NHC mentioning this in the 2 p.m. gives one cause to wonder: A NEW TROPICAL WAVE WILL BE EMERGING OFF THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA INTO THE FAR EASTERN TROPICAL ATLANTIC OVER THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS.


interesting on the wave, tells me they are watching it already

there was no 2pm advisory on Alex, the 11am showed 18.7N 90.6W

Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7376
1314. CybrTeddy
6:37 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
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 place, so no 2 pm advisory.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23590
1313. scott39
6:37 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
So its a battle between the trough and the ridge. Seeing how this June, I will lean towards the ridge.IMO
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6740
1312. ElConando
6:37 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting StormW:


No I'm not...I'm right here!


jajajaja!
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
1311. AstroHurricane001
6:37 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
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?


Read up on the Western Hemisphere Warm Pool: Link

Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
This storm is so wide we can expect to see a lot of rain across the whole Gulf coast.


And chances are we'll see more than just one or two large storms like this in the Gulf this season.

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 NHC predicted Katrina would make landfall in Buras-Triumph, LA on the day that Katrina moved off Florida. Link
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1310. Chicklit
6:37 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Hi! Alex was at 18.7N, 90W at 2 p.m. advisory.
That would still give it a few hours until it gets into water.


The NHC mentioning this in the 2 p.m. gives one cause to wonder: A NEW TROPICAL WAVE WILL BE EMERGING OFF THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA INTO THE FAR EASTERN TROPICAL ATLANTIC OVER THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11178
1309. Seflhurricane
6:36 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
on a funny note if jim cantore heads to south texas tuesday you all will know what that means
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2990
1308. bohonkweatherman
6:36 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
We have had Strong High Pressure over Texas since early May, unless that weakens or moves off Alex can only go to Central or Northern Mexico. Tampico looks about right unless things change.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
1307. tkeith
6:36 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting StormW:


No I'm not...I'm right here!
Storm Cantore?...lol
Member Since: November 1, 2004 Posts: 25 Comments: 8923
1306. TexasHurricane
6:35 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting itrackstorms:


There are no watches or warnings in effect. NHC goes back to every 6 hour updates when there are no advisories.


oohhhhhh ok. Did not know that. Thanks!
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
1305. Seflhurricane
6:35 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting Hurricanes101:


that is not 94L, that is the ULL that beat it up lol
okay i just noticed that hopefully we can get some rain on southern florida
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2990
1304. 7544
6:35 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Quoting StormW:


No.


thanks strom w as i slap my face
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6693
1302. Hurricanes101
6:34 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
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
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7376

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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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