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: 3238 - 3188

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

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?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
cmc ooz to tx


link please...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i shouldn't have used disappeared. my memory thought disappeared but now that y'all have refreshed it, it weakened significantly. so did they forsee this or were they as surprised as we were in the morning
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3234. Patrap
Isidore and Lili were back to Back in La 2002..a week or so apart.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
3233. xcool
Link


new cmc
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting truecajun:


yes. that's it, it was 2002. what happened to her. that was before i blogged. did they see her "dissipation" coming? i remember waking in the morn and everyone being so glad, yet totally perplexed.


The NHC admitted that they did not foresee the rapid weakening that took place with Lili. Likely causes though, were southwesterly shear associated with an approaching upper-level trough, dry air punching into the system because of that flow, and also cooler, possibly sub-26C SSTs, near the coast, owing to upwelling from Isidore, which hit just a week earlier.

Lili is actually very good study material. Its inner core was strengthening, despite heavy southwesterly shear and dry air hammering the outer core, slowly making their way inward.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3231. xcool
cmc ooz to tx
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3230. leo305
does anyone have the live recon data? Were are they now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3229. Gorty
Edit: Putting a link to make it much easier to get to my indeph update.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting c150flyer:
Thx to all for your nice welcomes! Being in San Antonio, a TX storm would make chasing easier... I've chased 4 storms (Bonnie, Ivan, Jeanne, Ike) and one chased me (Wilma) made every single eye-wall ... any other chasers in here have any advise on how to "get permission" from local law enforcement to chase without them harassing you when they see you?


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. :>)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leo305:


has a strong circulation, and it's almost july, definately should be watched


Has alot of dust in the way. Link it's going to be interesting to watch.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3226. Patrap



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting truecajun:


yes. that's it, it was 2002. what happened to her. that was before i blogged. did they see her "dissipation" coming? i remember waking in the morn and everyone being so glad, yet totally perplexed.


Lili didnt dissipate, she made landfall in Western LA as a CAT 1/2 storm, but she did weaken before landfall
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting truecajun:


yes. that's it, it was 2002. what happened to her. that was before i blogged. did they see her "dissipation" coming? i remember waking in the morn and everyone being so glad, yet totally perplexed.


maybe it just weakened significantly? it was supposed ot be a cat 5 then it wimped out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


ah my bad, well I dont think Lili disappeared though, made landfall as a CAT 2


I admit, I'm a little puzzled there, as well. Perhaps he/she can shed some light via elaboration?

I'm trying really hard to find a storm in 2001 that was forecast to hit New Iberia, and just fizzled... Barry would be the closest, and that didn't fizzle. He/she has to be referencing Lili.

Also, I assume by "disappear" cajun meant that a rapid weakening ensued. Which it did.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It was Lili(Lily?) in 2002
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 64
Isn't Dr Rob Carver making a blog update tonight sometime?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3219. Gorty
Alex update!1 Indepth!!!

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/Gorty/comment.html?entrynum=8
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3218. Drakoen
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I know a lot of focus is on Alex, but what do you think of the wave about to exit Africa?

NHC has already mentioned it in their discussion, you think it is something we may be tracking in a few days?


Upper level winds off the coast of Africa are not conducive for development but shear amy relax some as suggested by the GFS. Wait a few days and see.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


You might be thinking of Lili, which was in 2002.


yes. that's it, it was 2002. what happened to her. that was before i blogged. did they see her "dissipation" coming? i remember waking in the morn and everyone being so glad, yet totally perplexed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


You think that's bad....I live in the arctic and I'm hopelessly attached to this screen when there's a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin...lol.


LMAO!! Ok, you win!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


cajun was referring to a female storm.


ah my bad, well I dont think Lili disappeared though, made landfall as a CAT 2
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
3214. Levi32
Quoting HoustonTxGal:
Why is this so addicting?? I shold be in bed yet I am sitting here waiting for graphs and charts on a storm that may or may not come my way. Is it OCD? LOL Either way, I am a weather junkie and being WU has saved my bacon in 2 major hurricanes, I just have to be here.


You think that's bad....I live in the arctic and I'm hopelessly attached to this screen when there's a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin...lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
What is the latest from the HH's? Do they confirm what the satellite appears to show? That is intensifying?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


actually I think Isidore in 2002


cajun was referring to a female storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3211. CCkid00
Quoting Patrap:

earlier this evening, we had rain come into Baton Rouge, from just slightly southeast...moving northwest (it was more south to north). tonight, in this, it is showing the clouds going from west to east. does that mean anything?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ighuc:
Is there any reason why Tropical Storm Darby has stalled and now is headed back towards the Mexican coastline? Have the models taken into consideration the potential for Darby to push Alex away from Mexico? It seems unlikely that two weak storms would get involved regarding Fujiwara, but it's interesting, they aren't THAT far apart...


Alex is pushing Darby eastward.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


You might be thinking of Lili, which was in 2002.


actually I think Isidore in 2002
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting mobilebayal:


What is Kents Law?
Ya MobileBay how are you tonight???? and yes I was wondering the samething????

Taco :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting truecajun:
i ask this every year because i always forget. does anyone remember the storm in 2001 i think that was supposed to make landfall around New Iberia, LA. it was female and was supposed to be really bad, but it ended up "disappearing" in the wee early morning hours. when i say disappearing, there was a scientific explanation. i don't remember what it was though


You might be thinking of Lili, which was in 2002.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3205. leo305
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I know a lot of focus is on Alex, but what do you think of the wave about to exit Africa?

NHC has already mentioned it in their discussion, you think it is something we may be tracking in a few days?


has a strong circulation, and it's almost july, definately should be watched
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3204. Ighuc
Is there any reason why Tropical Storm Darby has stalled and now is headed back towards the Mexican coastline? Have the models taken into consideration the potential for Darby to push Alex away from Mexico? It seems unlikely that two weak storms would get involved regarding Fujiwara, but it's interesting, they aren't THAT far apart...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gosh, been gone a couple hours and it hasn't appeared to move much at all..but it sure looks like it getting stronger
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i ask this every year because i always forget. does anyone remember the storm in 2001 i think that was supposed to make landfall around New Iberia, LA. it was female and was supposed to be really bad, but it ended up "disappearing" in the wee early morning hours. when i say disappearing, there was a scientific explanation. i don't remember what it was though
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Why is this so addicting?? I shold be in bed yet I am sitting here waiting for graphs and charts on a storm that may or may not come my way. Is it OCD? LOL Either way, I am a weather junkie and being WU has saved my bacon in 2 major hurricanes, I just have to be here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow if Alex is organizing like this and its barely off the coast of the Yucatan... think what it can do when it is 100 to 150 miles off
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


That's what I am waiting on too before I leave for bed


I know a lot of focus is on Alex, but what do you think of the wave about to exit Africa?

NHC has already mentioned it in their discussion, you think it is something we may be tracking in a few days?
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting EtexJC:


Since when is being premature prepare-ness a bad thing?



Being prepared is great but that's a lot of commited resources to south Texas. What if it hits Houston? They are in central texas. Stay put until we have more knowledge.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Please let us know what the HH find guys! I am curious about Alex's movement. I think it will reveal alot, if he is even moving at all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3193. Drakoen
Quoting Hurricanes101:
never mind they are almost in the center again, so I will stay up for another 10-20 minutes to see the new center fix lol


That's what I am waiting on too before I leave for bed
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherFromtheSouth:
Any Cantore sightings

lol


OH BOY...lol!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherFromtheSouth:
Any Cantore sightings

lol
now there is a landfall point for ya...lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3190. xcool
lmao
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Any Cantore sightings

lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Fl30258713:


Doubtful. I wouldn't make sense to risk the crews or the equipment.

I saw the rig captain working the DWH site interviewed yesterday and he said he only needed a day and half to two days to shut down the rig in order to navigate it out of the storms track.

I know news reports said five days, but it's probably done in stages depending on risk per vessel.


yeah. i don't think they'd leave them out there if they shouldn't be out there, but maybe they see these two models and are thinking, NO WAY, so there's no point in even acknowledging them in order to not "scare" anyone for no reason.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 3238 - 3188

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
36 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron