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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Quoting texascoastres:
Thanks KoritheMan and yes sir that is what i meant. been up since 6am yesterday just alittle sleepy


Haha, it's fine. No worries.
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Alex is just testing the water. Don't worry, he will make his intentions known soon.
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Quoting xcool:
TexasHurricane .weak in Ridge .move to nw.imo.


so sticking with your track?
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3435. xcool
fsumetLMAO.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting louisianaboy444:
if you are in Western La then some concern should still exist..The models are lining up on the Texas coast...The HWRF,GFS, GFDL,EURO,CMC all take it to the Texas coast somewhere so model agreement is becoming clearly with that being said it could be a dicey situation...This is a big storm so even a shift to the Northern Texas Coast would put Western La on the bad side of the storm


I am in SW LA....I am gonna keep an eye on Alex very closely....
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Thanks KoritheMan and yes sir that is what i meant. been up since 6am yesterday just alittle sleepy
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relocating?? possible?
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3431. fsumet
Quoting SykKid:


With the CMC shifting south...it's likely the start of a trend. This thing will head to Mexico.....sorry doomcasters


The CMC was just too fast and too far north to begin with. The European shifted significantly north. Plus I never said it wasn't going to Mexico. When the storm formed I thought just south of Brownsville.
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Quoting txsweetpea:



Well I guess we really need to watch this one for sure...I dont want to get caught off guard. Do you know when we should know about when alex is going to start moving in what ever direction he is gonna move?


hopefully tomorrow we will have more of an idea...I really hope so.
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3429. xcool
TexasHurricane .weak in Ridge .move to nw.imo.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
3428. xcool
opps he move nw now.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting texascoastres:
Is the next update at 2am? anyone?


You mean the next advisory? No, it's at 5 AM (eastern).
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


about the same. Orange area.



Well I guess we really need to watch this one for sure...I dont want to get caught off guard. Do you know when we should know about when alex is going to start moving in what ever direction he is gonna move?
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Quoting xcool:



hmmmm look at this


ok, I am making a guess. This is where you are seeing it going more north to the upper TX coast. Am I right?
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3423. xcool
Alex need help fast...
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Is the next update at 2am? anyone?
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the storm fights hard over land lost a lot of volume. might go now into gulf or gets ripped (what i wrote in post 3 btw) just my guess.
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3420. xcool



hmmmm look at this
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
if you are in Western La then some concern should still exist..The models are lining up on the Texas coast...The HWRF,GFS, GFDL,EURO,CMC all take it to the Texas coast somewhere so model agreement is becoming clearly with that being said it could be a dicey situation...This is a big storm so even a shift to the Northern Texas Coast would put Western La on the bad side of the storm
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lots of thunder and lightning in mandeville right now. good show:)
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agree to disagree....good work!
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3416. xcool
Euro keep think go to mx wt--
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting txsweetpea:






south east texas...about 14 miles from the la border.And you?


about the same. Orange area.
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3414. fsumet


I have to disagree with you COOP, it's a good 150 miles north of previous landfall. I would call that significant.
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


so more on the TX side or the LA side?



Quoting TexasHurricane:


where are you located?



south east texas...about 14 miles from the la border.And you?
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3412. xcool
POOR MODELS
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting CoopNTexas:
First, my brother is a pro met here in SE Tex...LOL...Just don't think it gets that far north, but I do think it will be Texas. Just an educated guess.


So your reasoning for disagreeing with CaneAddict is a guess.......LOL....why are you posting Crap like this. POOOOOFFFFF



YeP another KID.....yep he is a GEEESSSSHHHH!
Quoting btwntx08:
ingore sykkid everyone he doesnt know model stuff he doesnt watch cause hes a
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Quoting txsweetpea:
Thanks ya'll....caneaddict and txhurricane....It is really bad when you dont know what to do to prepare. I have had a really bad felling about Alex when he was 93L...I guess we will see soon enough.


where are you located?
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Hmmm. wonder if Dr. Carver is gonna do an update????
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Quoting CaneAddict:


The ridge/trough. Timing and strength.


ok, thanks for the info.
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Not to argue FSU, but it's not that much farther north but somewhat. Wouldn't say "MUCH FARTHER".
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Quoting tropicallsu:
Hello Everyone,This is good or bad,Depends on where you live,that Alex has not been moving much,The further west the storm gets,the more likley a Southern Texas & Northern Mexico landfall.Since Alex has set there about 5-8 hours & really not made any major progress, when he resumes his forward progress it will be a more of a North-Northwest motion,This storm is not going to be a fast mover,The storm is just starting to feel the trough,This storm will suprise alot of people.For the past several hours the storm really hasn't felt anything. That is about to change tonight.I have been saying since last week, & Still do tonight, that Alex would be a Cat 1-3 Hurricane at landfall. My opinion on a US landfall is anywhere between Houston,TX & The mouth of the Miss. If I had to go out on a limb, I would say TX/LA Border within 50 miles on either side.I know all of you have been watching the models, remember the EURO,just a few days ago,showed a Southeastern LA landfall, No, I don't think its a Southeastern LA landfall.If I had to choose a model it would be the DGEX.& NAM they make the most sense to me. We shall see...Bob


so more on the TX side or the LA side?
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20.5n 90.5w see spin. relocating?
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


so what makes you think that? I am so confused on this storm.


The ridge/trough. Timing and strength.
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3403. fsumet


Euro much further north more in line with other models to NORTHERN Mexico!
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Thanks ya'll....caneaddict and txhurricane....It is really bad when you dont know what to do to prepare. I have had a really bad felling about Alex when he was 93L...I guess we will see soon enough.
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Quoting CaneAddict:


It's organizing..just not moving.



Link

Looks like the llc is on the northwest edge of the convective blob actually. Under it but not centered. So maybe the shear map is semiright. I dont see 20kts but maybe 10-15kts. That would also explain why the outflow that was restricted in the Nw quad is now being blown back toward the storm.
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First, my brother is a pro met here in SE Tex...LOL...Just don't think it gets that far north, but I do think it will be Texas. Just an educated guess.
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3399. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting CaneAddict:


Sure am.


so what makes you think that? I am so confused on this storm.
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Hello Everyone,This is good or bad,Depends on where you live,that Alex has not been moving much,The further west the storm gets,the more likley a Southern Texas & Northern Mexico landfall.Since Alex has set there about 5-8 hours & really not made any major progress, when he resumes his forward progress it will be a more of a North-Northwest motion,This storm is not going to be a fast mover,The storm is just starting to feel the trough,This storm will suprise alot of people.For the past several hours the storm really hasn't felt anything. That is about to change tonight.I have been saying since last week, & Still do tonight, that Alex would be a Cat 1-3 Hurricane at landfall. My opinion on a US landfall is anywhere between Houston,TX & The mouth of the Miss. If I had to go out on a limb, I would say TX/LA Border within 50 miles on either side.I know all of you have been watching the models, remember the EURO,just a few days ago,showed a Southeastern LA landfall, No, I don't think its a Southeastern LA landfall.If I had to choose a model it would be the DGEX.& NAM they make the most sense to me. We shall see...Bob
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Wasn't Dr. Carver suppose to make an update tonight????
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Quoting CoopNTexas:
totally disagree 'addict but nice graphic.


That's great that you disagree. Give me some backup as to why you disagree.
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3393. Michfan
Crap wrong one. Here is the one i wanted to post.

Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 28th day of the month at 05:34Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Storm Number & Year: 01L in 2010
Storm Name: Alex (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 4
Observation Number: 15
A. Time of Center Fix: 28th day of the month at 5:08:30Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 19°26'N 91°20'W (19.4333N 91.3333W)
B. Center Fix Location: 60 miles (97 km) to the WSW (241°) from Campeche, Campeche, México.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 604m (1,982ft) at 925mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 35kts (~ 40.3mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 4 nautical miles (5 statute miles) to the N (360°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 351° at 23kts (From the N at ~ 26.5mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 9 nautical miles (10 statute miles) to the W (263°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 991mb (29.26 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 22°C (72°F) at a pressure alt. of 764m (2,507ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 23°C (73°F) at a pressure alt. of 764m (2,507ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 20°C (68°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 925mb (If this vortex is from mid 1990's or earlier 925mb might be incorrect. See note.)
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 2 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 50kts (~ 57.5mph) in the north quadrant at 5:15:50Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 925mb
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Quoting xcool:
natrwalkn poof


Ok. Not quite sure why, but ok.
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Quoting HurricaneKing:
Link

Im not sure this is correct but it may explain the lack of development tonight. Its showing 20kts of shear on Alex.


It's organizing..just not moving.
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totally disagree 'addict but nice graphic.
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3389. Michfan
Last vortex message as recon heads home it looks like.

see below
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Just wondering, but will that new low that just popped up in northeast Texas have any affect on Alex's path?

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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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