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 MechEngMet:
All,
It seems Alex has stalled for the last few hours or so. I must point out that exactly NONE of the models predicted this stall. So toss all of them out with the Sunday Trash.

This storm's future is best predicted using traditional means. Look at WV, Look at steering, Look at history...

...and everyone from Greenland to Chile should be keeping an eye on this Beast.


ROFLMAO!!
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Quoting leo305:
Poor alex, it builds up some convection over the little water it has, and then it smashes it onto terrain.. the thing needs more water or it wont strengthen tonight


It doesn't really NEED to strengthen, does it? Everybody keeps saying Alex is headed for me.
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Quoting MechEngMet:
WV = Water Vapor. An outstanding graphical product.

Perhaps some of the betters on here can send a few links for you about WV...


i'm familiar with water vapor loops from NOAA website. y'all use so many abbreviation, that sometimes i'm not sure what they are for.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Lili didnt dissipate, she made landfall in Western LA as a CAT 1/2 storm, but she did weaken before landfall


There was a national radio show (gotta hunt for the name, he alwasy did stories of UFOs). He asked his thousands of viewers to send out "thoughts" to weaken Lilli. The following morning she had dropped about 2 cats. yeah I know very strange! I'm sure there's a more scientific reason!
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looking at west Atlantic wv and it just looks crazy out there. can anybody elaborate on all the activity i see in this wv loop? also can you give explanation of what if any effect the activity out there has on Alex? thanks in advance:) i would really appreciate everyone's input.
i have posted this a couple of times. is this question to stupid to answer?lol! i just think that all of this may have something to do with Alex and i am not as educated as you all to know what i am seeing.:)
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Ahhah. It fixed itself. That was weird stuff.
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3279. Levi32
990.7mb found by recon. Little change in intensity tonight.

000
URNT15 KNHC 280503
AF304 0401A ALEX HDOB 51 20100628
045400 1916N 09146W 9250 00660 9977 205 180 340015 017 027 001 00
045430 1917N 09145W 9248 00661 9975 205 178 338016 017 027 000 00
045500 1918N 09143W 9248 00659 9973 208 177 334018 019 028 001 00
045530 1919N 09142W 9250 00656 9971 210 177 335018 019 028 001 00
045600 1919N 09141W 9251 00651 9968 210 179 335020 021 028 001 00
045630 1920N 09139W 9247 00653 9965 210 180 337019 020 030 001 00
045700 1921N 09138W 9250 00647 9964 203 181 341021 023 031 002 00
045730 1922N 09136W 9247 00648 9959 206 181 348023 023 031 002 00
045800 1922N 09135W 9248 00643 9956 206 180 350022 023 032 001 00
045830 1923N 09134W 9249 00637 9951 205 178 350020 020 032 001 00
045900 1924N 09132W 9250 00632 9944 213 176 343019 020 031 000 03
045930 1925N 09131W 9246 00627 9934 221 175 347022 023 028 002 00
050000 1925N 09129W 9253 00617 9928 219 177 356019 021 028 000 03
050030 1925N 09128W 9246 00619 9924 216 180 010013 015 027 001 00
050100 1926N 09126W 9257 00606 9921 217 183 020009 011 019 001 03
050130 1925N 09124W 9252 00608 9916 219 185 000008 009 024 000 00
050200 1925N 09123W 9246 00610 9914 217 188 324007 008 022 001 00
050230 1924N 09121W 9255 00599 9911 220 190 283007 008 022 001 00
050300 1924N 09119W 9249 00604 9907 225 191 257010 010 021 000 00
050330 1923N 09118W 9246 00608 9909 225 193 237011 012 021 000 03
$$
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
3278. leo305
Poor alex, it builds up some convection over the little water it has, and then it smashes it onto terrain.. the thing needs more water or it wont strengthen tonight
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Quoting Levi32:


NHC Advisory Archive


thank you!
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Quoting Levi32:


Water Vapor.


thanks
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3275. Levi32
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Moved South from previous runs?


Yup...it's about time.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
3274. Levi32
Quoting Houstonia:


Levi - where do you find old discussions at?!?


NHC Advisory Archive
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
WV = Water Vapor. An outstanding graphical product.

Perhaps some of the betters on here can send a few links for you about WV...
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3272. xcool
Link


cmc new
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Quoting Levi32:
You don't see an NHC discussion like this very often.

~~~~~~~~

ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
HURRICANE LILI DISCUSSION NUMBER 49
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT THU OCT 03 2002


Levi - where do you find old discussions at?!?
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3268. Levi32
Quoting truecajun:
what does WV stand for?


Water Vapor.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
3266. Levi32
Having the CMC finally shift west is interesting. South Texas has to watch this closely as Alex could just as easily pass north of the Rio Grande as south of it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
what does WV stand for?
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:


LMAO!! Ok, you win!


LOL! You're closer to the coast than I am and I can't turn this off.. although agree > Levi32, you win.
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3263. Levi32
Quoting Comradez:
Okay, WTF is the CMC smoking, with showing Alex making landfall around Corpus Christi, and then somehow going back out over the gulf and making a 2nd landfall around Houston?????


It's not....this is the 1st and only landfall. You must be viewing a loop that shows the previous runs in the later forecast hours that haven't updated to the current run yet.

0z CMC 72 hours:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Uh, what's up with that model you linked xcool? It jumps something at the end of the frame. Alex makes landfall in southern Texas, disappears and rejumps toward the Tx/LA line. Not saying it is Alex that jumps, but something does just as Alex disappears after initial landfall.
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Quoting Levi32:
You don't see an NHC discussion like this very often.

~~~~~~~~

ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
HURRICANE LILI DISCUSSION NUMBER 49
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT THU OCT 03 2002


A VERY INTERESTING EVENT OCCURRED WITH LILI IN THE PAST 24 HOURS.
IT INTENSIFIED RAPIDLY TO A STRONG CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE AND
WEAKENED TO A CATEGORY TWO AS FAST AS IT STRENGTHENED. THERE WILL
BE MANY EXPLANATIONS AFTER THE FACT...AND PERHAPS MANY PHD
DISSERTATIONS. I AM GLAD THERE WILL BE SOME. THE TRUTH IS THAT
NOBODY WAS ABLE TO PREDICT THESE SUDDEN CHANGES IN INTENSITY.
CURRENTLY...THERE ARE ONGOING RESEARCH PROJECTS ON INTENSITY CHANGE.
INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES WEATHER RESEARCH PROGRAM...USWRP.
HOPEFULLY THESE EFFORTS WILL HELP US PREDICT SUCH EVENTS IN THE
FUTURE.

FOR WHATEVER REASON...LILI WEAKENED...AND MADE LANDFALL ON THE
RAINEY REFUGE ON THE WEST SIDE OF VERMILLION BAY AROUND 1400 UTC
WITH 85 KNOT WINDS...A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE. INITIAL INTENSITY AT
THE ADVISORY TIME IS 80 KNOTS AND THESE WINDS ARE CONFINED TO A
SMALL AREA JUST TO NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER. THE HURRICANE IS MOVING
NORTHWARD AT 14 KNOTS AND THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE CIRCULATION IS
ALREADY INLAND. THE EYE IS ON THE COAST JUST SOUTHWEST OF NEW
IBERIA AND BOTH RADAR AND AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE EYEWALL IS NO
LONGER WELL DEFINED. A RAPID WEAKENING SHOULD CONTINUE TODAY. LILI
SHOULD BECOME EMBEDDED WITHIN THE FLOW OF A MID-LATITUDE TROUGH AND
BECOME EXTRATROPICAL BY 36 HOURS OR SO AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE
NORTHEAST WITH A GRADUAL INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED OVER THE EASTERN
UNITED STATES.

FORECASTER AVILA

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 03/1500Z 29.8N 92.2W 80 KTS...INLAND
12HR VT 04/0000Z 32.1N 92.4W 35 KTS...INLAND
24HR VT 04/1200Z 35.0N 90.5W 30 KTS...INLAND
36HR VT 05/0000Z 40.0N 85.0W 25 KTS...INLAND
48HR VT 05/1200Z...ABSORBED


interesting.
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3259. Torgen
Well, gotta say it's awfully nice of Alex to loiter and give that ridge a chance to rebuild behind the trough, what with the BP disaster and all.

(uh, the trough hasn't stalled as well, has it?)
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All,
It seems Alex has stalled for the last few hours or so. I must point out that exactly NONE of the models predicted this stall. So toss all of them out with the Sunday Trash.

This storm's future is best predicted using traditional means. Look at WV, Look at steering, Look at history...

...and everyone from Greenland to Chile should be keeping an eye on this Beast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3256. csikes
Quoting gator23:

Election Year.


TTF1 should already be in action as events start rolling at -120 hrs. and with it potentially 80-90 hrs. out IF it goes to south TX or Coastal Bend area. So no, it is not too early.
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True Cajun...Lili was a strong hurricane but right before it hit land it ran through a cold patch of water thanks to Isadore who hit earlier.
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3254. xcool
models need help
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3253. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
Okay, WTF is the CMC smoking, with showing Alex making landfall around Corpus Christi, and then somehow going back out over the gulf and making a 2nd landfall around Houston?????
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thanks for the info. i'm sure i'll forget and ask again next year. LOL
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3250. Patrap
Quoting fly11269:
truecajun - 2001 was lily





The L storm in 2001 was Lorenzo
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
Hello all so I guess southeast florida is spared for the next couple weeks huh
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3248. reid221
Quoting leo305:
does anyone have the live recon data? Were are they now
Link
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Quoting leo305:
does anyone have the live recon data? Were are they now




AOI
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Models seem to be saying Brownsville to CC texas. Storm needs to move North if that's going to happen
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3245. Levi32
You don't see an NHC discussion like this very often.

~~~~~~~~

ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
HURRICANE LILI DISCUSSION NUMBER 49
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT THU OCT 03 2002


A VERY INTERESTING EVENT OCCURRED WITH LILI IN THE PAST 24 HOURS.
IT INTENSIFIED RAPIDLY TO A STRONG CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE AND
WEAKENED TO A CATEGORY TWO AS FAST AS IT STRENGTHENED. THERE WILL
BE MANY EXPLANATIONS AFTER THE FACT...AND PERHAPS MANY PHD
DISSERTATIONS. I AM GLAD THERE WILL BE SOME. THE TRUTH IS THAT
NOBODY WAS ABLE TO PREDICT THESE SUDDEN CHANGES IN INTENSITY.
CURRENTLY...THERE ARE ONGOING RESEARCH PROJECTS ON INTENSITY CHANGE.
INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES WEATHER RESEARCH PROGRAM...USWRP.
HOPEFULLY THESE EFFORTS WILL HELP US PREDICT SUCH EVENTS IN THE
FUTURE.

FOR WHATEVER REASON...LILI WEAKENED...AND MADE LANDFALL ON THE
RAINEY REFUGE ON THE WEST SIDE OF VERMILLION BAY AROUND 1400 UTC
WITH 85 KNOT WINDS...A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE. INITIAL INTENSITY AT
THE ADVISORY TIME IS 80 KNOTS AND THESE WINDS ARE CONFINED TO A
SMALL AREA JUST TO NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER. THE HURRICANE IS MOVING
NORTHWARD AT 14 KNOTS AND THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE CIRCULATION IS
ALREADY INLAND. THE EYE IS ON THE COAST JUST SOUTHWEST OF NEW
IBERIA AND BOTH RADAR AND AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE EYEWALL IS NO
LONGER WELL DEFINED. A RAPID WEAKENING SHOULD CONTINUE TODAY. LILI
SHOULD BECOME EMBEDDED WITHIN THE FLOW OF A MID-LATITUDE TROUGH AND
BECOME EXTRATROPICAL BY 36 HOURS OR SO AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE
NORTHEAST WITH A GRADUAL INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED OVER THE EASTERN
UNITED STATES.

FORECASTER AVILA

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 03/1500Z 29.8N 92.2W 80 KTS...INLAND
12HR VT 04/0000Z 32.1N 92.4W 35 KTS...INLAND
24HR VT 04/1200Z 35.0N 90.5W 30 KTS...INLAND
36HR VT 05/0000Z 40.0N 85.0W 25 KTS...INLAND
48HR VT 05/1200Z...ABSORBED
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
3244. xcool
i just posting link.
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This is what our local met said this evening:

The forecast from late Monday into late week is very uncertain, all thanks to a cold front and Alex. A cold front moves south and into our area by Tuesday. The front will interact with added gulf moisture and energy from Alex. We're putting rain chances at 50% for mid week. However, both our weather and the track of Alex will vary greatly on how far south the cold front moves and how strong the high pressure behind the front will be. If it moves farther south, it should throw Alex west and reduce our rain chances by late week. If the front stays farther north, we may see more of an influence from Alex, including some rain bands possibly by mid to late week. This scenario would bump up our rain chances to high. Until the models give us a clearer picture, we're forecasting average temperatures and slightly increased rain chances for mid and late week.

ANY thoughts???
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new canadian has south texas landfall (near brownsville)
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3241. will45
Quoting leo305:
does anyone have the live recon data? Were are they now

The last ob i have is 04:43:30Z 19.100N 92.333W 925.0 mb
(~ 27.32 inHg) 680 meters
(~ 2,231 feet) 999.6 mb
(~ 29.52 inHg)
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truecajun - 2001 was lily
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Quoting TexasGulf:


Not a chaser... but my suggestion is "Drive a Hearse". Have a coffin and some body bags in the back. You can stow all your camera gear and recording equipment in the coffin. The local law enforcement probably won't look in the coffin or ask too many questions. :>)


wow. very creative.
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Quoting Patrap:
Isidore and Lili were back to Back in La 2002..a week or so apart.

now how's thta for a poleward shift?
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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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