Alex may head north to Texas or Louisiana

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:36 PM GMT on June 27, 2010

Share this Blog
5
+

Tropical Depression Alex has held together fairly well during its passage over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and stands poised to re-intensify back into a tropical storm once it emerges from the coast tonight. Alex brought heavy rains to northern Honduras, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and Belize over the weekend. It was not a good beach day in Cozumel yesterday, as 9.25" of rain fell. Cancun received 2.05" over the weekend, and Belize City received 4.57". Satellite loops show that Alex's heavy thunderstorms are mostly gone near the center, though there are some impressive bands of precipitation well away from the center. There is an upper-level high pressure system a few hundred miles west of Alex, and the clockwise flow air around this high is bringing upper-level winds out of the northwest of about 5 knots over the storm, contributing to the 5 knots of wind shear observed in this afternoon's wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin's CIMSS group. Sea Surface Temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C, and dry air is currently not a problem for Alex.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Alex.

Forecast for Alex: which model should you trust?
While the track forecast for Alex today through Monday is fairly well-assured, the longer range forecast has become highly uncertain. An increasing number of our reliable models are now indicating Alex may take a more northerly track beginning on Tuesday, with possible landfall on the Texas coast near Galveston on Friday (according to the 8am run of the GFS model) or into western Louisiana on Wednesday (the 8am run of the Canadian model.) The key question remains how Alex will react to the trough of low pressure expected to swing down over the Eastern U.S. on Monday and Tuesday. Most of the models were predicting that the trough would not be strong enough to swing Alex to the north, and several of them continue to predict this. The 8am runs of the NOGAPS and ECMWF models, for example, take Alex into the Gulf coast of Mexico 150 miles south of Texas, on Wednesday. The GFDL and HWRF models split the difference, with the GFDL predicting a Thursday landfall in southern Texas near Brownsville, and the HWRF predicting a Thursday landfall near Corpus Christi. Morris Bender of the GFDL group has just provided me the track forecast from an improved experimental version of the GFDL that shows landfall between Corpus Christi and Galveston. So which model should you trust? Last year, the best performing models at the 3 - 4 day forecast range were the GFS and the Canadian, and these are the models that are currently calling for the more northerly track towards the upper Texas coast and Louisiana. Residents of those areas should review their hurricane preparedness plans and anticipate that Alex could make landfall as early as Wednesday in their vicinity. Residents of the Mexican coast south of Brownsville should make similar plans, as Alex could just as easily hit there.

Re-intensification of Alex is likely once the center of Alex moves offshore, though this will initially be slow due to the current disorganized state of the storm and the relatively low total ocean heat content in the 100-mile-wide stretch of water on the west side of the Yucatan Peninsula. Once Alex moves more than 100 miles from the Yucatan, total heat content of the ocean increases substantially, and Alex will have the opportunity to intensify significantly. A longer time spent over water will give Alex more of a chance to strengthen, and it is possible Alex could intensify into a major hurricane if landfall is delayed until Thursday or Friday. However, Alex's intensification may be limited the farther north it gets, as water vapor satellite images show plenty of dry air over Texas that might interfere with development. Wind shear might also be an issue for Alex if it pushes far enough north, and a slow-moving storm tends to pull up cold water from the depths, limiting intensification. In short, Alex has the potential to intensify into a major hurricane, but there are plenty of roadblocks that make this only a 10% probability in my estimation.


Figure 2. Skill of computer model forecasts for Atlantic named storms during 2009. OFCL=Official NHC forecast; GFS=Global Forecast System model; GFDL=Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory model; HWRF=Hurricane Weather Research Forecasting model; NOGAPS=Navy Operational Global Prediction System model; UKMET+United Kingdom Met Office model; ECMWF=European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting model; CMC=Canadian GEM model; TVCN=one of the consensus models that lends together all (or most) of the above models; BAMM=Beta and Advection Model (Medium Layer.) Image credit: National Hurricane Center 2009 verification report.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave (Invest 94L) a few hundred miles north of the northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands has been pretty much torn apart, and is no longer a threat to develop.

Next post
Wunderground's severe weather expert Dr. Rob Carver will likely be posting an update on Alex late tonight. My next update will be Monday by 10am EDT.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1838 - 1788

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73Blog Index

1838. MiamiHurricanes09
12:29 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
According to the vortex message Alex should be a 45mph system with a minimum central pressure of 991.0mb.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1837. FLWeatherFreak91
12:29 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting Patrap:

00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Alex
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



Early Model Wind Forecasts

I guess the storm's current motion will dictate which of these models is correct. If it moves north now, it's going further north. If it heads west now, it'll hit further south.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3616
1836. alaina1085
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting hurricanehanna:

Long time no see Alaina! How have you been?

Lafayette here

Hey Hanna!
I have been great! I remember where your from. How have things been with you?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1240
1835. tropicfreak
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting watchingnva:


yea i know...saw it on radar,got excited...checked back 20 minutes later and it was gone... i was not happy...

things are really starting to get dry around here...my parents lawn is about 75% a loss...mine is still green...only bc i haven't cut it yet...and ill have to do that in the next 2 days...itll burn up within a few days of me cutting it...luckily we have a better shot of rain tomorrow and tuesday...and the end of the week, were going to be getting 80's again...yes!!!!!!!!!!!!...i dont know if this front is gonna get alex as far north as yall think, but ill take the cool down its gonna give us anyday...


Thank god it might rain. What a wonderful sight it would be to see my porch wet and the lawn green.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6814
1834. sporteguy03
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Any similarities with Brett (99) and Alex other then Brett was smaller?
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5120
1833. Tazmanian
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting Levi32:
000
URNT12 KNHC 280025
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL012010
A. 27/23:45:00Z
B. 19 deg 13 min N
091 deg 06 min W
C. 925 mb 603 m
D. 41 kt
E. 357 deg 47 nm
F. 087 deg 42 kt
G. 010 deg 80 nm
H. EXTRAP 991 mb
I. 21 C / 763 m
J. 22 C / 774 m
K. 14 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 12345 / 9
O. 0.02 / 3 nm
P. AF304 0401A ALEX OB 06
MAX FL WIND 42 KT N QUAD 23:19:50Z
SLP EXTRAP FROM 925 MB
;



thats a little more like it 40kt storm it is
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
1832. weathermancer
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Alex building a ring-of-fire around the center... and it JUST reached the coast too.
Trough in western US seems fairly vigorous.
Member Since: August 29, 2009 Posts: 12 Comments: 482
1830. Patrap
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting IKE:
LATCUR = 19.2N LONCUR = 91.1W DIRCUR = 300DEG SPDCUR = 7KT

Moving at 7 knot? WTH? I must be blind.


Dat must be with a Tailwind and some fudging Ike


Still darn slow though.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125715
1828. Grothar
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting CaneAddict:
For those interested..I'm going to have supper and then I am releasing a Vlog for Tropical Storm Alex.


Is that with orange juice?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
1827. amd
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
this was the location of the center according to recon: 19.217N 91.083W

this is the location of the shoreline at this longitude: roughly 19.100N 91.083W

Shoreline at Alex's center longitude

At the center pass, Alex was less than 10 miles from the shoreline.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
1826. Levi32
12:28 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
000
URNT12 KNHC 280025
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL012010
A. 27/23:45:00Z
B. 19 deg 13 min N
091 deg 06 min W
C. 925 mb 603 m
D. 41 kt
E. 357 deg 47 nm
F. 087 deg 42 kt
G. 010 deg 80 nm
H. EXTRAP 991 mb
I. 21 C / 763 m
J. 22 C / 774 m
K. 14 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 12345 / 9
O. 0.02 / 3 nm
P. AF304 0401A ALEX OB 06
MAX FL WIND 42 KT N QUAD 23:19:50Z
SLP EXTRAP FROM 925 MB
;
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26460
1825. IKE
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
LATCUR = 19.2N LONCUR = 91.1W DIRCUR = 300DEG SPDCUR = 7KT

Moving at 7 knot? WTH? I must be blind.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1824. MiamiHurricanes09
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


What site do you get that data from as well? lol.
Think that's all im missing now.
Link
Click "invest_al012010.invest" for the latest information on Alex.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1823. help4u
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Post 1787 you forgot Taz!!He is the pin -hole eye spotter!!
Member Since: September 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1257
1822. louisianaboy444
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
I wonder if Stewart will be on the TWO tonight lol we all remember his very scary discussion last night..He did say that the 5-Day Progressive was in favor of the CMC and GFS solution...
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1339
1821. pipelines
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting charlottefl:


My personal opinion is that he was struggling to consolidate or tighten his circulation all along. The trip over the Yucatan was flat enough and surrounded by water. It was just enough friction to tighten the circulation, while remaining close enough to water to feed moisture into the storm.


I have to disagree, there was an apparent eyewall forming before landfall. Cyclones go through cycles, this one was undergoing a fairly rapid intensification cycle as it made landfall and simply continued that cycle while on land, the land didn't do anything to assist. What the land did was hinder that cycle.

If you have ever paid attention to landfalling systems, a strengthening system just about always maintains its strength for a good amount of time after landfall, when a weakening system makes landfall it usually hits a brick wall and rapid weakening occurs.
Member Since: July 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 225
1820. Tazmanian
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
we may see sub 980s mb here soon
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
1819. jpsb
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting tropicfreak:


Not a coffee drinker, rather go for an ice cold coke instead.
Is it beer time yet?
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1016
1818. tropicfreak
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting watchingnva:


yea i know...saw it on radar,got excited...checked back 20 minutes later and it was gone... i was not happy...

things are really starting to get dry around here...my parents lawn is about 75% a loss...mine is still green...only bc i haven't cut it yet...and ill have to do that in the next 2 days...itll burn up within a few days of me cutting it...luckily we have a better shot of rain tomorrow and tuesday...and the end of the week, were going to be getting 80's again...yes!!!!!!!!!!!!...i dont know if this front is gonna get alex as far north as yall think, but ill take the cool down its gonna give us anyday...


I haven't cut mine in over 3 weeks, and yet its half brown.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6814
1816. Crawls
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting alaina1085:

We are neighbors. Im in prairieville.


Watson here
Member Since: August 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 272
1815. angiest
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting StormW:
One thing to remember about the GFDL and HWRF...this is about the size area (on the right) they initialize and and analyze...period.



Agree, which is why the GFS should at least be respected. It may not be the most adept at tropical weather, but it does get the big picture.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1814. HurricaneSwirl
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Guys the weakening flag is on because it's old, it was released the moment it got out of the water, that's why the pressure is so high compared to what it actually is now.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
1813. hurricanehanna
12:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting alaina1085:

We are neighbors. Im in prairieville.

Long time no see Alaina! How have you been?

Lafayette here
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3480
1812. CybrTeddy
12:26 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting CaneAddict:


LOL..What? I don't see anything even remote to an eye.


Hey! I haven't seen you in a while! :-)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
1811. atmoaggie
12:26 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting StormW:
One thing to remember about the GFDL and HWRF...this is about the size area (on the right) they initialize and and analyze...period.


The standard high-res vortex-following nest.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
1810. Grothar
12:26 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
This is still June, right?

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
1809. CaneAddict
12:26 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
For those interested..I'm going to have supper and then I am releasing a Vlog for Tropical Storm Alex.
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2151
1807. alaina1085
12:26 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting CCkid00:
honestly, i have no idea what to think....i'm just learning all of this stuff, though i've been watching for years. even the "experts" don't have the same opinions. i live about 10 miles east of Baton Rouge. if we could go on feelings, i'd say a Houston hit....but that is PURE feeling! LOL

We are neighbors. Im in prairieville.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1240
1806. tropicfreak
12:26 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting CCkid00:
honestly, i have no idea what to think....i'm just learning all of this stuff, though i've been watching for years. even the "experts" don't have the same opinions. i live about 10 miles east of Baton Rouge. if we could go on feelings, i'd say a Houston hit....but that is PURE feeling! LOL


WELCOME TO WUNDERGROUND!!!!
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6814
1805. tropicaltank
12:25 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
I have a very ominous feeling about this one folks.
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 242
1804. Patrap
12:25 AM GMT on June 28, 2010

00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Alex
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



Early Model Wind Forecasts

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125715
1802. watchingnva
12:25 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting tropicfreak:


Tell me about it, the bubble prevailed today, as the storms from c'ville tracked SE it fizzled when it got close to richmond.


yea i know...saw it on radar,got excited...checked back 20 minutes later and it was gone... i was not happy...

things are really starting to get dry around here...my parents lawn is about 75% a loss...mine is still green...only bc i haven't cut it yet...and ill have to do that in the next 2 days...itll burn up within a few days of me cutting it...luckily we have a better shot of rain tomorrow and tuesday...and the end of the week, were going to be getting 80's again...yes!!!!!!!!!!!!...i dont know if this front is gonna get alex as far north as yall think, but ill take the cool down its gonna give us anyday...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1475
1801. HurricaneSwirl
12:25 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Alex a TS, again.

AL, 01, 2010062800, , BEST, 0, 192N, 911W, 35, 991, TS,


What site do you get that data from as well? lol.
Think that's all im missing now.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
Photobucket

Core is filling in fast...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
what are they smoking 991 35kt that cant be right try more like more like 50kt


no its right, again if the pressure drops are gradual then you won't have a high wind speed
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:



OMG is this thing froming a eye


LOL..What? I don't see anything even remote to an eye.
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2151
Quoting Acemmett90:
TAZ why the heck is the damn weaking flag on wth



not sure
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
1794. Levi32
Quoting victoriahurricane:


Indeed, which is amazing and definitely shocked a lot of the bloggers here, myself included. Do you have any clue as to why it remained so structurally sound, even improving it's sturcture with it's Yucatan trek? We all know that Fay was helped by the warm marshlands it went over, but what can the Yucatan provide? Maybe it was because he could easily tap waters and the energy on both sides of the Yucatan due to his size?


Yucatan is usually deadly to tropical cyclones because of its sheer size, despite being very flat. I suspect the reason Alex did so well and even possibly strengthened over land was because of the massive amount of heat energy available to it in the atmosphere. He came in running on a relatively infinite supply of jet fuel, and that helped him stay so organized during his passage.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26460
Hurricane in 24 hours.
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 242
Quoting pablolopez26:
This is definately not good news for Texas... A possible landfall over or near Galveston as a major hurricane on Friday??? NOT GOOD!


By then the blog will go bazzirke.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6814
1790. CCkid00
honestly, i have no idea what to think....i'm just learning all of this stuff, though i've been watching for years. even the "experts" don't have the same opinions. i live about 10 miles east of Baton Rouge. if we could go on feelings, i'd say a Houston hit....but that is PURE feeling! LOL
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 304
1788. Patrap

00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Alex
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125715

Viewing: 1838 - 1788

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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