Alex may head north to Texas or Louisiana

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

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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

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999.0mb pressure reading.

000
URNT15 KNHC 272323
AF304 0401A ALEX HDOB 17 20100627
231400 2049N 09041W 9250 00684 0004 +215 +145 094035 036 023 000 00
231430 2048N 09041W 9247 00685 0004 +213 +144 092032 034 022 000 00
231500 2046N 09042W 9246 00687 0004 +213 +144 094036 038 023 002 00
231530 2045N 09043W 9249 00684 0002 +214 +142 092034 035 024 001 00
231600 2043N 09044W 9249 00683 0003 +210 +141 092038 039 027 005 00
231630 2042N 09045W 9250 00682 0003 +209 +139 093037 038 028 004 00
231700 2040N 09046W 9251 00680 0001 +212 +135 093038 038 027 004 00
231730 2039N 09047W 9248 00682 0000 +211 +133 089037 038 026 000 00
231800 2037N 09048W 9250 00680 0000 +210 +131 090038 039 026 000 00
231830 2036N 09049W 9246 00684 9999 +210 +131 087039 040 022 002 00
231900 2034N 09050W 9251 00676 9998 +211 +131 086040 041 022 002 00
231930 2033N 09051W 9248 00678 9997 +212 +132 087041 042 018 002 00
232000 2031N 09052W 9248 00679 9996 +212 +132 087041 041 018 002 00
232030 2030N 09053W 9249 00677 9995 +212 +134 086040 041 018 001 00
232100 2028N 09054W 9249 00675 9993 +216 +135 084039 040 020 001 00
232130 2027N 09055W 9248 00677 9993 +218 +136 083037 039 023 001 00
232200 2025N 09056W 9249 00676 9992 +219 +137 084036 036 025 001 00
232230 2024N 09057W 9248 00675 9992 +215 +139 082036 036 023 002 00
232300 2022N 09057W 9248 00676 9991 +215 +141 085037 038 023 000 00
232330 2021N 09058W 9250 00673 9990 +219 +141 088039 040 026 000 00
$$
;
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1387. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129910
Quoting Tazmanian:
this has been on going today








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Ben happening to me for about a week. And not just on WU.
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1000.4
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Quoting belizeit:
I made it alive trough alex lasi night we got about 7 inches of rain
What kind of winds did you have ? Grand Cayman saw 40 mph yesterday. No-where near that amount of rain though. I think this is a preview of things to come unfortunately.
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1383. ATL
Quoting belizeit:
I made it alive trough alex lasi night we got about 7 inches of rain


Wow. How are the conditions there now? Good to see you're OK!
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1381. jpsb
Quoting MrstormX:
Really Popping now, in a couple of hours it will have much its convection back.

Link
Once again, wow! Yes really popping.
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Quoting xcool:
hwrf sux
Why?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Is there any support for a curve to hit between LA and FL or is this strictly a TX to LA storm? I have a neighbor thinking its going to do a curve when it hits far enough into the GOM. He is probably just nuts, but figured I would ask.
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Clearly that Inflow is sucking up warmth and moisture from those crazy SSTs.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
I made it alive trough alex lasi night we got about 7 inches of rain
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1375. xcool
hwrf sux
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Quoting Levi32:


They have yet to pass through the newly-forming feeder band to the north of the center which should easily have some 25-30kt surface winds in it.
Oh I thought they already passed that area.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1372. Levi32
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So far they haven't found much in the way of strong winds, but I think those will be found on the SE quadrant which is still overland.


They have yet to pass through the newly-forming feeder band to the north of the center which should easily have some 25-30kt surface winds in it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
1370. Mikla
Just go to Tropical Atlantic and download the big KML... has all kinds of weather images.

Quoting Acemmett90:

Dude do u have the add on for google earth i lost it for the hurricane hunters
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Look guys I apologize for all the actions I have committed that were't so good, I wasn't using my head, but next time when a situation like that happens again, I will think before I speak.
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Quoting Levi32:
The slow pressure falls as the plane nears the center indicate a very broad circulation field, which is to be expected in a system that just crossed over land for nearly 24 hours.
So far they haven't found much in the way of strong winds, but I think those will be found on the SE quadrant which is still overland.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
DANGIT Miami LOL
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Quoting Patrap:


I think your right Tazaroo..Alex seems to be re building it fast.

Yeah, like immediately.
Holy cow.
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1000.0mbs



wow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting homelesswanderer:


Yeah. least ch 12 said there's model split. Watch it closely. Cooper's got a bad track record of blowing off storms. His very first was, Allison would never amount to much. Lol. Brown is worse.


Yeah I don't usually watch any of them..just thought i would turn it on tis evening to see what they had to say...I don't think Bostwick is an idiot by the way, I just sometimes question why he is so slow to let the public know what's going on
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Hi All, I have been watching this blog for a year or so...Just want to thank many of you for your great info.

I remember very well, 2004, when we got hit with three in a row....

Hoping for the best for all of you along the Gulf Coast, you do not need any other headaches.
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Quoting Chucktown:


What's up SJ? Yea, I'll check those pictures out. Nice storms today for the Lowcountry. Just for the record, we (on cam mets) are not scripted when it comes to the forecast. I get 3 and a half minutes to do my thang. I'm responsible for the forecast and my maps and I don't have to have anything approved beforehand. Gonna be an interesting hurricane season for us.


Summer school is what's up...Four classes in 11 weeks is putting a hurting on me. Agree, looks to be a very interesting season. Good to know you aren't scripted, sure that makes it much more fun for y'all.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

Dude do u have the add on for google earth i lost it for the hurricane hunters


Link
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Quoting Acemmett90:

Dude do u have the add on for google earth i lost it for the hurricane hunters
Link
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1356. Levi32
The slow pressure falls as the plane nears the center indicate a very broad circulation field, which is to be expected in a system that just crossed over land for nearly 24 hours.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
1355. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
01L/TD/A
MARK
19.5N/91.8W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting Patrap:


I think your right Tazaroo..Alex seems to be re building it fast.




wow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting MrstormX:
Really Popping now, in a couple of hours it will have much its convection back.

Link


sure looks like it.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




hmmm is that a inner eye wall starting?

Not yet. That is the new build-up around the COC. The next 2-3 hrs will be interesting to watch & see as Alex intensifies.
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1350. ATL
Quoting RecordSeason:
1277:

Actually, there really is no "ridge" any more...unless you consider a 1008 as "high pressure," because 1008 is the closest "relative high" isobar near Alex at this point.

Link

The big ~1003mb low to the west over Texas and Mexico is what is messing with Alex right now.

Link

Which you can clearly see the low pulling in the cloud tops from over Mexico and much of the north-western GOMEX.

This is why Alex is stalling, and may eventually even make a hard right.


Also, the fact that 1008mb is the highest pressure near Alex makes his current sub-1000mb pressure a bit more reasonable after being over land for so long.
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1349. Levi32
1000.4mb at 20.8N 90.6W as they approach the newly-forming feeder band north of the center.

000
URNT15 KNHC 272313
AF304 0401A ALEX HDOB 16 20100627
230400 2119N 09023W 9249 00693 0012 +215 +134 102035 035 016 001 00
230430 2117N 09024W 9248 00694 0011 +220 +134 103039 040 015 000 00
230500 2116N 09025W 9250 00692 0009 +226 +133 104040 040 016 001 00
230530 2114N 09025W 9250 00691 0009 +225 +133 106040 040 016 001 00
230600 2113N 09026W 9248 00693 0009 +224 +134 106040 041 017 000 00
230630 2111N 09027W 9249 00690 0008 +225 +135 107040 040 017 000 00
230700 2110N 09028W 9249 00690 0008 +225 +135 106041 041 015 001 00
230730 2108N 09029W 9249 00691 0008 +220 +136 104039 040 018 000 00
230800 2107N 09030W 9249 00690 0009 +217 +137 101037 038 016 000 00
230830 2106N 09031W 9250 00688 0008 +219 +137 100037 038 018 001 00
230900 2104N 09031W 9247 00691 0008 +217 +137 099037 038 017 001 00
230930 2103N 09032W 9250 00687 0007 +218 +138 097036 038 016 000 00
231000 2101N 09033W 9248 00690 0008 +217 +139 095035 037 017 000 00
231030 2100N 09034W 9249 00688 0007 +219 +142 096033 034 018 000 00
231100 2058N 09035W 9249 00689 0006 +220 +144 095035 037 019 000 00
231130 2057N 09036W 9250 00686 0006 +217 +146 092034 035 021 000 00
231200 2055N 09037W 9248 00689 0006 +217 +148 090035 036 020 000 00
231230 2054N 09038W 9250 00686 0005 +215 +148 094034 035 023 000 00
231300 2052N 09039W 9248 00688 0004 +215 +147 094033 034 020 000 00
231330 2051N 09040W 9249 00686 0004 +215 +146 094034 036 020 001 00

$$
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
1348. hcubed
Quoting GlobalWarming:
thanks, levi, hopefully this will nip in the bud, all of the texas wishcasters, once and for all.


I wish we could nip a few Florida wishcasters in the bud.
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Quoting Patrap:


I think your right Tazaroo..Alex seems to re building it fast.


Normally I think Taz is just crazy lol, but based on Satellite and recon... thats a plausible theory.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
A pressure of 1000.4mb can be seen now.

000
URNT15 KNHC 272313
AF304 0401A ALEX HDOB 16 20100627
230400 2119N 09023W 9249 00693 0012 +215 +134 102035 035 016 001 00
230430 2117N 09024W 9248 00694 0011 +220 +134 103039 040 015 000 00
230500 2116N 09025W 9250 00692 0009 +226 +133 104040 040 016 001 00
230530 2114N 09025W 9250 00691 0009 +225 +133 106040 040 016 001 00
230600 2113N 09026W 9248 00693 0009 +224 +134 106040 041 017 000 00
230630 2111N 09027W 9249 00690 0008 +225 +135 107040 040 017 000 00
230700 2110N 09028W 9249 00690 0008 +225 +135 106041 041 015 001 00
230730 2108N 09029W 9249 00691 0008 +220 +136 104039 040 018 000 00
230800 2107N 09030W 9249 00690 0009 +217 +137 101037 038 016 000 00
230830 2106N 09031W 9250 00688 0008 +219 +137 100037 038 018 001 00
230900 2104N 09031W 9247 00691 0008 +217 +137 099037 038 017 001 00
230930 2103N 09032W 9250 00687 0007 +218 +138 097036 038 016 000 00
231000 2101N 09033W 9248 00690 0008 +217 +139 095035 037 017 000 00
231030 2100N 09034W 9249 00688 0007 +219 +142 096033 034 018 000 00
231100 2058N 09035W 9249 00689 0006 +220 +144 095035 037 019 000 00
231130 2057N 09036W 9250 00686 0006 +217 +146 092034 035 021 000 00
231200 2055N 09037W 9248 00689 0006 +217 +148 090035 036 020 000 00
231230 2054N 09038W 9250 00686 0005 +215 +148 094034 035 023 000 00
231300 2052N 09039W 9248 00688 0004 +215 +147 094033 034 020 000 00
231330 2051N 09040W 9249 00686 0004 +215 +146 094034 036 020 001 00
$$
;
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
this has been on going today








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Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Looks like a nice blowup along the northern half of COC area...maybe thats the starter motor which starts the engine..
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1343. hydrus
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Rather impressive. I wouldn't be surprised to see Recon show pressures in the sub-995mb threshold with all these impressive weather reports.
I believe Alex will intensify at a moderately fast pace. Not because of water temperature, but because it is still quite organized. It wont need much time to regain tropical storm status.jmo
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1341. xcool
any one from tx to LA KEEP EYE ON Alex
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


Whats that mean?


The first digit is the hundreds place, the second digit is the tens, the third digit is the ones, there's a decimal inbetween third and fourth, and the fourth is the tenths.

When the first two are 0 like that there is an understood 1 in front of it for 1000.
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Really Popping now, in a couple of hours it will have much its convection back.

Link
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1338. Hhunter
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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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