Late-night Alex Update

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:02 AM GMT on June 28, 2010

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Hi, Dr. Rob Carver filling in for Jeff on the late shift again.
As of the 11PM EDT advisory, Alex is once more a tropical storm moving to the W-NW at 6 knots. According to the CIMMS wind shear estimates Alex is experiencing less than 20 knots of shear, so it's in a favorable location for intensification. The NHC forecast track has Alex moving to the W-NW and making landfall in northern Mexico.

Disagreement between the forecast models
As of 300EDT, there are roughly three different sets of forecast solutions for the forecast models. CMC/GFS have Alex making landfall along the Texas coast north of Corpus Christi, but south of Houston. GFDL/HWRF have Alex coming ashore near Brownsville. UKMET/ECMWF/NOGAPS/NGFDL show Alex coming ashore well south of the Rio Grande. As was the case yesterday, the difference between the CMC/GFS and UKMET/ECMWF forecast lies in the interaction of the trough with the area of high pressure in the Gulf that's currently steering Alex. Upper-air data from the Gulfstream IV should help refine model forecasts.

What does it mean?
The CMC/GFS/UKMET/ECMWF are all very good global models so it's hard to discount one model in favor for another. If you live along the Gulf coast from Tampico, MX to the Texas/Louisiana border, it would be very prudent to review your hurricane planning and preparations. I still think the chances of Alex directly interfering with oil spill recovery efforts are low.

Rain from Alex
The first satellite-derived rainfall estimates are available for June 26. They show that as Alex was making landfall, it was producing 3-7 inches of rain over the Caribbean Sea.


Satellite-derived rainfall estimates for June 26, 2010 from the Climate Prediction Center

Invest 94L
Invest 94L is no more.

East Asian heat wave continues
The heat wave continues in the Amur river valley between Russia and China. Analysis of gridded data shows that the daily high temperature in that region is 10-14 degrees Celsius above normal.

Plot of daily maximum temperature anomaly in degrees C for June 27, 2010.


Next blog update
Jeff plans on having an entry up by 10AM EDT. I should have another entry up late Monday night.

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Quoting IKE:
6Z GFS takes Alex toward northern Mexico and Brownsville,TX. through 48 hours....


One of the possible solutions, i guess,lol
A more northern track has the same chance at this moment.
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I am not even going to respond to the crazy conspiracy theorists, except to say I hope they get banned for talkin' smack while there is an active storm threatening so many.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3200
95. IKE
6Z GFS takes Alex toward northern Mexico and Brownsville,TX. through 48 hours....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting xcool:
Stacy Stewart good job.
Stacy Stewart, I love that guy, he always explains his reasoning in detail.
Not so terse and cautious like some others. I hope he has a protégé coming up behind him.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3200
Quoting watchingnva:
personally, i don't see where he is getting any bigger this morning. it actually looks like hes trying to consolidate and tighten up this morning..he still covers a large area, but those outer bands are not near what they were Friday and Saturday...


Is not bigger as friday but he will be.
He is just in the water again.
Think tonight will be important when he is a bit further away from land.
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personally, i don't see where he is getting any bigger this morning. it actually looks like hes trying to consolidate and tighten up this morning..he still covers a large area, but those outer bands are not near what they were Friday and Saturday...in fact i believe that a lot of the banding in the central and eastern gulf is still being enhanced by whats left of the wave that followed alex through the Caribbean and was absorbed over the weekend.
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Good Morning StormW. Still to many uncertains to call this a Texas storm yet. Watching that ridge closely.
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morning storm...

is it just me, or looking at the wv this morning...is alex having to deal with some of that dry air from texas today? looks like the uul over LA is trying to push the drier air south across the western gulf, while alex's outer bands to the north attempt to moisten the area...

am i seeing things wrong in this aspect?
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Quoting watchingnva:
very slow intensification with him sitting on the coast i see this morning...until he gets further off the coast (at least 100), we truly wont get to see what he can do...


agreed,but in the meanwhile he is becoming much bigger.Lots of moisture in the GOM.
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very slow intensification with him sitting on the coast i see this morning...until he gets further off the coast (at least 100), we truly wont get to see what he can do...
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Storm,

goodmorning.
It seems to me Alex is developing quickly.
Do you think Alex could reach hurricane status today?Or is is to soon to tell?
Bad news just heard om radio.Already ten people died because of Alex.
What are youre thoughts Storm.I have a bad feeling.
Sorry,my English is not always good.
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Quoting flibinite:
Gotta go, too. Thanks for the interest, KoritheMan, and I'll make sure to check back in here tomorrow to see if you responded, as I don't want you to feel you've wasted your time with anything you might be typing now. :-)

Jo


Good night man.
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shear also falling rapidli in the GOM coming day.A more northern track would mean trouble.
I really wonder wich way Alex will go but i have not a good feeling about this one.
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Quoting StormW:
Good morning!


Good morning, Senior Chief!
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Quoting IKE:



Looks like you'll get your cane! Enjoy no electricity....downed trees and power-lines. Better stock up on vienna sausage!

Advantage to you not having electricity....you won't be on here wish-casting the next system.


Ouch. LOL
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Gotta go, too. Thanks for the interest, KoritheMan, and I'll make sure to check back in here tomorrow to see if you responded, as I don't want you to feel you've wasted your time with anything you might be typing now. :-)

Jo
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should a more northern track not mean Alex has the potential to become stronger?
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76. IKE
Quoting btwntx08:
im out for the night goodnight all bbl



Looks like you'll get your cane! Enjoy no electricity....downed trees and power-lines. Better stock up on vienna sausage!

Advantage to you not having electricity....you won't be on here wish-casting the next system.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting SykKid:


I thought in order for the NHC to declare it a Cat3 it had to be 115 MPH?


It does.
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bye rob and bye all.
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Its that time as well good night everyone and lets see what surprises alex has in store for us today and beyond.
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Looks like Alex may be tracking N. afterall
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Quoting SykKid:


I thought in order for the NHC to declare it a Cat3 it had to be 115 MPH?
It is i said borderline cat 3 which is 95kts which is 110 mph and cat 3 starts at 111mph but they dont use that.
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Stacy Stewart good job.
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Between the 05:34Z HH center fix (991) and the center reported on the 09z Alex advisory, Alex traveled 25 miles at a speed of 7.2 mph and a heading of 319 degrees, i.e. has dropped a bit to the west onto a NW heading from NNW between the last two HH center fixes.

7.2 mph, heading 319 degrees.
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Okay, lol, these are my last words, because you did ask, KoritheMan. I would love to show you the images, but you try finding radar images from northern Mexico and the Yucatan from 4-6 years ago. And when this came up last year I spent *hours* trying to find those radar images of Fay.

Not only couldn't I find them, I couldn't find the posts trying to explain those radar images. If this was the full "panel" of normal posting members, we might have someone else to mention seeing them, or who remembers that afternoon discussion about them, but we probably don't.

As such, if you want to say I'm mistaken, or even just a liar, please feel free... but I do know what I saw, and have no big ax to grind about this. No one says it always works anyway, as the systems are so massive. I think the best they can do is to weaken, and delay the timing of eyewall creations... but that can mean a lot, as if Alex had gotten an eyewall southwest of Jamaica...?

That's all I've got for you, KoritheMan... sorry it isn't more. If true though, I find the social implications fascinating, as if they really are adjusting the "natural" sequences of storms in the Gulf, say, they're "saving" one location to have these storms land on another, and one has to feel bad for those they end up hitting.

Jo
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TropicalStormAlex heading out toward Brownsville,Texas landfall in 3days
(Straightline projection using its last 2 positions. Take with HUGE grain of salt)

Copy&paste TAM, MOB, PBI, SAL, 18.7N90.6W, 19.2N90.9W-28.7n88.4W, 19.4N91.3W-28.7n88.4W, 19.7N91.6W-28.7n88.4w, 19.4N91.3W-19.7N91.6W, 19.4N91.3W-BRO into the GreatCircleMapper.

The red line shows the heading based on the last two positions. Below the map shows:
TSAlex had a heading of 316.6degrees (~2degrees north of NorthWest), while
traveling a distance of 28miles (~45kilometres) over 6hours at a speed of ~5mph (~8kph);
TSAlex's distance from DeepwaterHorizon* decreased by 11miles from 666miles to 651miles;
the previous closure rate was ~1mph, and at the current closure rate of ~2mph,
TSAlex remains ~301hours away from the DeepwaterHorizon.

At 120hours away, personnel evacuations & shutdown procedures for ship evacuations begin.
(See the bottom of blog1521post705 for more info, & blog1521 before obvious corrections)

* Which I've been marking as 28.7n88.4W
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NHC track is now right on top of mine from Saturday morning, which I haven't changed yet.
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That cone has definitely shifted northwards. Matagorda Bay is now in the cone.
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Quoting Levi32:
Scary words from Stewart. Texas is very much in the game right now.

Yep and possibly landfalling as a major hurricane i hope thats not the case.
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Scary words from Stewart. Texas is very much in the game right now.

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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Actually 95 kts which is boderline cat 3 right?


Correct. 110 mph.
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Actually 95 kts which is boderline cat 3 right?
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hmm wow.
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I think all of the tinfoil hats may have accidentally deleted the hard drive containing the radar images.
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Well looks like alex has got winds of 50 mph and has a smaller windfield as it is getting more compact which it can aid it in intensifing.
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000
WTNT41 KNHC 280851
TCDAT1
TROPICAL STORM ALEX DISCUSSION NUMBER 11
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
400 AM CDT MON JUN 28 2010

DEEP CONVECTION WITH CLOUD TOPS OF -80C TO -84C HAVE DEVELOPED NEAR
AND AROUND THE CENTER OF ALEX DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS. AN AIR
FORCE RESERVE UNIT AIRCRAFT AROUND 05Z FOUND THE CENTRAL PRESSURE
TO STILL BE AROUND 991 MB...BUT FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS HAD INCREASED TO
51 KT...EQUAL TO ABOUT 38 AT THE SURFACE. THE AIRCRAFT ALSO
MEASURED AN SFMR SURFACE WIND OF 41 KT IN THE NORTHERN QUADRANT ON
ITS OUTBOUND LEG. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION AND THE MARKED INCREASE
IN CENTRAL DEEP CONVECTION SINCE THE RECON FIX...THE INITIAL
INTENSITY IS SET AT 45 KT.

THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 315/05 BASED ON RECON FIX DATA.
COMPARED TO LAST NIGHT...THE MODELS ARE IN MUCH BETTER AGREEMENT ON
THE EVOLUTION OF THE SYNOPTIC-SCALE FLOW PATTERN ACROSS THE U.S.
AND THE GULF OF MEXICO. IN FACT...THE 500 MB HEIGHT AND WIND FIELDS
ARE NEARLY IDENTICAL WITH THE STRENGTH AND PLACEMENT OF THE
DEVELOPING TROUGH-RIDGE PATTERN THROUGH 72 HOURS. DESPITE THESE
STRIKING SIMILARITIES...HOWEVER...THERE IS STILL CONSIDERABLE
DIVERGENCE IN THE FORECAST TRACKS...ESPECIALLY AFTER 48 HOURS. FOR
THE NEXT 2 DAYS OR SO...THE MODELS ARE IN GENERAL AGREEMENT ON A
SLOW NORTHWESTWARD MOTION. AFTER THAT...THE GFS...GFS-PARALLEL...
CMC...HWRF...AND GFDL MODEL KEEP ALEX ON A NORTHWESTWARD TRACK AND
BRING THE CYCLONE INLAND ALONG THE LOWER OR CENTRAL TEXAS COAST. IN
CONTRAST...THE ECMWF...UKMET...AND NOGAPS MODELS TAKE ALEX WESTWARD
INTO THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF MEXICO...WITH THE ECMWF HAVING THE
MOST SOUTHERN TRACK OF THOSE MODELS. HOWEVER...THE ENTIRE NHC MODEL
SUITE HAS SHIFTED NORTH AGAIN...ALONG WITH THE ECMWF MODEL
. THE
ONLY DIFFERENCE I CAN SEE BETWEEN THE MODELS IS THAT THE THE
ECMWF...UKMET...AND ESPECIALLY NOGAPS DEPICT ALEX AS A SMALLER AND
WEAKER CYCLONE THAN THE OTHER MODELS ARE FORECASTING. GIVEN THAT
ALEX IS EXPECTED TO BE A RELATIVELY LARGE HURRICANE BY 72 HOURS...
GREATER WEIGHT WAS PLACED ON THE OTHER MODEL SOLUTIONS... WHICH HAS
RESULTED IN A NORTHWARD SHIFT OF THE FORECAST TRACK
...BUT STILL
REMAINS SOUTH OF THE NHC CONSENSUS MODEL..TVCN.

THE NORMALLY ROBUST GFDL AND HWRF MODELS ARE STILL ONLY FORECASTING
MODEST INTENSIFICATION OF ALEX...WHICH REMAINS SOMEWHAT PERPLEXING
GIVEN THE VERY LOW VERTICAL SHEAR ENVIRONMENT AND IMPRESSIVE
OUTFLOW ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH ALEX IS CURRENTLY IN AND IS FORECAST
TO REMAIN EMBEDDED IN FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THE CURRENT
CENTRAL PRESSURE IS MORE TYPICAL OF SYSTEM NEARING HURRICANE
STRENGTH. GIVEN THAT THE SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN QUITE LOW AND
THE ATMOSPHERE IS FORECAST TO REMAIN VERY MOIST IN THE MID-LEVELS
...I SEE NO REASON WHY ALEX SHOULD NOT CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN...AND
POSSIBLY EVEN BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BEFORE LANDFALL. THE
OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN THE VERY
RELIABLE LGEM MODEL...WHICH BRINGS ALEX UP TO 90 KT BY 72 HOURS.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 28/0900Z 19.7N 91.6W 45 KT
12HR VT 28/1800Z 20.3N 91.9W 55 KT
24HR VT 29/0600Z 21.4N 92.7W 65 KT
36HR VT 29/1800Z 22.4N 93.6W 75 KT
48HR VT 30/0600Z 23.3N 94.7W 85 KT
72HR VT 01/0600Z 24.6N 97.0W 95 KT
96HR VT 02/0600Z 25.6N 99.2W 40 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 03/0600Z 26.5N 101.0W 20 KT...DISSIPATING INLAND

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
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000
WTNT31 KNHC 280853
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM ALEX ADVISORY NUMBER 11
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
400 AM CDT MON JUN 28 2010

...ALEX GETTING BETTER ORGANIZED AS IT MOVES SLOWLY AWAY FROM THE
YUCATAN PENINSULA...


SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.7N 91.6W
ABOUT 75 MI...115 KM W OF CAMPECHE MEXICO
ABOUT 440 MI...710 KM ESE OF TAMPICO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...990 MB...29.23 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

HOWEVER...A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED LATER TODAY FOR THE
COASTAL REGIONS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTH TEXAS.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 400 AM CDT...0900 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ALEX WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 19.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 91.6 WEST. ALEX IS
MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 6 MPH...9 KM/HR...AND THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS...AND ALEX COULD BECOME A HURRICANE LATER TODAY OR ON
TUESDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 990 MB...29.23 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF
4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...SOUTHERN MEXICO...AND
PORTIONS OF GUATEMALA THROUGH TUESDAY. ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF
15 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER MOUNTAINOUS AREAS. THESE RAINS COULD
CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES.

HEAVY RAINFALL COULD REACH THE COASTAL AREAS OF TAMAULIPAS AND
VERACRUZ TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1000 AM CDT.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART

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Quoting flibinite:
Sigh... I saw the radars for those I've mentioned, KoritheMan, and no others. I make no claims about any others, though totally suspect something for Gustav. And why are you bringing hurricanes like Allen into it... the technology to do weather mod certainly wouldn't have existed then.

That being said, btw, I'm not here to beat it to death, only to throw it out for consideration, as storm after storm seems to defy almost all prediction, especially in terms of questions like, "Why isn't it intensifying, or creating a LLC, as conditions are perfect for that?"

Ask yourself how many times you've heard that comment in here over the last three years.

I obviously don't know, but I think it's possible, and think, now, that it's actual.

Again, that's all I have to say about it for tonight. Let's see what Alex does next.

Jo


I'm still rather eager to view these "radar images" you keep referring to. I would be much obliged. Last time you told me you couldn't find them, but I'm seriously very eager to view these, especially now that you say that no one here was really able to satisfactorily explain them to you. I would now like to try my hand, if at all possible.

As for Allen and co., weather modification certainly was possible during those days. Indeed, the United States government funded "Project Stormfury" for a large portion of the 1970s. But why was that quickly abandoned? Because, it's exactly as I said, we don't currently possess enough knowledge about tropical cyclones and the forces that govern them. We didn't then, and we don't now.

That is why you always hear comments on here like "why isn't it strengthening in optimal conditions?". Because we lack sufficient knowledge in this area. Science isn't perfect, you know.
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10min
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But i also think that today we could see gradual strengthining as alex moves away from the yucatan and feed on the warm waters and the favorable enviroment its in
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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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