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 DaytonaBeachWatcher:


Now THAT doesnt surprise me, I am often out of the Loop, LMAO.

No Worries. I just didn't want that real-time model verification technique to be discounted for other readers.
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For everyone looking for the "direct access" route for Alex - remember that the storm is not a direct line, its round with lots of weather. If your within the cone, you should review preps -- don't panic, and watch for the forecast.

Nothing is worse than someone saying that the track was to xxx but it came in 50 miles north. That is also part of the track.

Max Mayfield always had a problem with putting a line in the center - the track is the entire cone, and can hit anywhere within that area.

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Alex will have more water to cover than Bret did

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Good morning. It looks like Alex doesn't want to leave Mexico! The coastline is beautiful, but I wonder if that is what is keeping him "under control" for now...
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542. IKE
Quoting Patrap:

Coastal Flood Watch

Statement as of 3:16 AM CDT on June 28, 2010



... Coastal Flood Watch in effect through Wednesday evening...

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a coastal
Flood Watch... which is in effect through Wednesday evening.

Strong southerly winds will persist today along with wave action
this will result in rises in tide levels of 2 to 3 feet above
normal. This will also occur during times of high tide Tuesday and
again on Wednesday.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A coastal Flood Watch means that conditions favorable for
flooding are expected to develop. Coastal residents should be
alert for later statements or warnings... and take action to
protect property.


And more oil washing ashore.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
There seems to be 2 groups of models here. One group having Alex go west after landfall, and the other group north/north east. It is amazing how the NHC is tending its official forecast westword, discounting the HWRF and GFS models. I know it is an average, but it doesn't seem like they are incorporating those models at all. Anyone's educated opinion is welcome on this.
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thanks for the updated models StormW!
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I think we will continue to see little bumps to the right until we are no longer throwing the GFS out with the bath water.


Quoting IKE:


Little shift to the right...
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Note that Alex is farther east than Bret was



Huh! Nice analog package you have there!
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Quoting aquak9:


well the XTRAP is always right...in reverse, that is...


Remember the old sailors saying... the only safe water... is behind you.
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Coastal Flood Watch

Statement as of 3:16 AM CDT on June 28, 2010



... Coastal Flood Watch in effect through Wednesday evening...

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a coastal
Flood Watch... which is in effect through Wednesday evening.

Strong southerly winds will persist today along with wave action
this will result in rises in tide levels of 2 to 3 feet above
normal. This will also occur during times of high tide Tuesday and
again on Wednesday.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A coastal Flood Watch means that conditions favorable for
flooding are expected to develop. Coastal residents should be
alert for later statements or warnings... and take action to
protect property.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TXnovice:
They are my favorite. They helped me not to go crazy through my first hurricane (Ike). I'm Canadian and have lived in the south (LA and TX) for 16 years, but have always avoided the storms. Channel 2 had great coverage through the storm. Channel 11 was trying, but their constant reference to the big donut (Ike) just made me hungry :)


Ike chased us from Houston to the Hill Country; Channel 11 was streaming live over the web for about 5 days. It was awesome to watch their coverage & be able to keep up with what was going on at home!

Hopefully we won't have to deal with all that again!
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530. jpsb
Quoting StormW:


In line with my forecast.
Yup.
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Note that Alex is farther east than Bret was

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Is that an eye forming in the last few frames? Link
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Time: 13:21:00Z
Coordinates: 20.2833N 91.4667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 925.0 mb (~ 27.32 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 614 meters (~ 2,014 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 992.7 mb (~ 29.31 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 133° at 57 knots (From the SE at ~ 65.5 mph)
Air Temp: 20.0°C (~ 68.0°F)
Dew Pt: 18.8°C (~ 65.8°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 60 knots (~ 69.0 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 50 knots (~ 57.5 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 11 mm/hr (~ 0.43 in/hr)
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Quoting IKE:


Never been used before on Dr. M's blog....

XTRP-CASTER!


well the XTRAP is always right...in reverse, that is...
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Quoting SeALWx:

Your comment is not incorrect, but you seem to have missed the 'short-term' part of his explanation.


Now THAT doesnt surprise me, I am often out of the Loop, LMAO.
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523. emtkz
Just curious here if anyone had any thought on what interaction tropical storm Alex in the Atlantic and Tropical storm Darby in the Pacific may have on each other. Guidance suggests that they both are headed towards each other.
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looks like the trough is winning...interesting
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521. jpsb
Quoting TXnovice:
I am in the Houston area as well and Channel 2 did mention the possible threat of Alex to the area, particularly around Matagorda Bay. They also explained the factors that are making it difficult for the models to agree. They were informative.
I always worry when Matagorda Bay is the target, Carla, plus north creep seems common these days.
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28/1145 UTC 19.9N 91.7W T3.0/3.0
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519. IKE
Quoting DestinJeff:


is this when I am supposed to become enraged and defensive, perhaps use CAPS to make my POINT? then proceed to accuse you of some type of casting, with evidence being something you may or may not have posted last season sometime about some storm?



LOL.

78.6 at my house. Very cloudy outside.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:


But the XTRAP "is not a model" it just shows the extrapolation of the current movement. Almost never does it happen that a storm moves in the exact same motion over a long period of time. The steering currents as well as speed, storm strength and other factors steer the storm in a non-straight line.

Your comment is not incorrect, but you seem to have missed the 'short-term' part of his explanation.
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They are my favorite. They helped me not to go crazy through my first hurricane (Ike). I'm Canadian and have lived in the south (LA and TX) for 16 years, but have always avoided the storms. Channel 2 had great coverage through the storm. Channel 11 was trying, but their constant reference to the big donut (Ike) just made me hungry :)
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Quoting StormW:


In line with my forecast.


Storm, your forecast is for it to go south of Corpus Christi but north of Brownsville? We're on the same boat here!
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Look at the winds they are getting now:

000
URNT15 KNHC 281329
AF306 0501A ALEX HDOB 30 20100628
132000 2015N 09130W 9253 00605 9914 220 195 139043 047 045 005 00
132030 2016N 09129W 9247 00613 9922 202 193 132055 057 048 008 00
132100 2017N 09128W 9250 00614 9927 200 188 133057 060 050 011 00
132130 2018N 09127W 9245 00623 9934 194 183 135061 062 051 011 00
132200 2019N 09126W 9253 00621 9941 190 178 132062 063 049 010 00
132230 2020N 09125W 9247 00631 9943 202 172 131062 062 047 005 00
132300 2021N 09123W 9250 00633 9946 205 169 132062 063 047 008 00
132330 2022N 09122W 9247 00638 9953 189 166 134065 066 045 009 00
132400 2023N 09121W 9250 00639 9955 202 163 136064 066 044 009 00
132430 2024N 09120W 9248 00645 9956 213 161 138061 062 043 004 00
132500 2025N 09119W 9250 00644 9959 213 161 138060 062 042 005 00
132530 2027N 09118W 9246 00653 9964 208 162 138063 065 042 003 00
132600 2028N 09117W 9251 00648 9966 206 163 140064 065 039 005 00
132630 2029N 09115W 9248 00654 9969 206 165 141064 065 040 001 00
132700 2030N 09114W 9248 00656 9971 209 168 140061 062 038 004 00
132730 2031N 09113W 9248 00658 9974 205 170 139062 062 039 002 00
132800 2032N 09112W 9242 00665 9975 207 172 140061 061 037 004 00
132830 2033N 09111W 9249 00660 9978 205 174 140060 061 036 004 00
132900 2034N 09110W 9254 00657 9980 203 175 141061 062 036 004 00
132930 2035N 09108W 9250 00664 9981 205 176 140060 060 035 005 00
$$
;

That and the vortex message data should bring Alex up to 60 mph by the 11AM advisory.. Track will probably shift very slightly north again.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


sorry I should have explained. a lot of people discount the XTRP as "not a model" ... but I find it useful in the short-term to see if the models will hit the xtrp. in this case, very few of them appear they will.

so we have to wait and see how long the current fwd motion holds ... the longer it does so, the wider the gap between the models and xtrp. the larger the gap, the more indicative of flawed model solution (in my mind)


But the XTRAP "is not a model" it just shows the extrapolation of the current movement. Almost never does it happen that a storm moves in the exact same motion over a long period of time. The steering currents as well as speed, storm strength and other factors steer the storm in a non-straight line.
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Quoting TXnovice:
I am in the Houston area as well and Channel 2 did mention the possible threat of Alex to the area, particularly around Matagorda Bay. They also explained the factors that are making it difficult for the models to agree. They were informative.


Good to know, since I used to work there. I was going to all and give them a piece of my mind ;)

I must just be missing the right segments.
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Quoting tkeith:
During Katrina Murphy Oil had a spill of 750,000 gallonsit affected over 2,000 homes. 80% of those dont have people living in them today, even after remediation.


That is really what scares my about a hurricane and the oil spill... What happens to the structures that get 'oiled'?

Water is bad enough as it is.

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Good morning!
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506. IKE
Quoting StormW:
12Z MODEL GUIDANCE

STATISTICAL



DYNAMIC





Little shift to the right...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting DestinJeff:


sorry I should have explained. a lot of people discount the XTRP as "not a model" ... but I find it useful in the short-term to see if the models will hit the xtrp. in this case, very few of them appear they will.

so we have to wait and see how long the current fwd motion holds ... the longer it does so, the wider the gap between the models and xtrp. the larger the gap, the more indicative of flawed model solution (in my mind)



Ohhh I totally understand. ok. Is XTRP right or left of the models now? (Sorry, all my easy quick links are on old computer. I need to make a bunch of new ones :( )
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66 knts flight level winds
51 knts surface winds
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
This is from StormW's blog...

"would look for a HURRICANE WATCH to be posted for those in the 5 day cone, probably sometime tomorrow"

This is what will get everybody's attention when this comes out
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I am in the Houston area as well and Channel 2 did mention the possible threat of Alex to the area, particularly around Matagorda Bay. They also explained the factors that are making it difficult for the models to agree. They were informative.
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Hurricane force flight level winds!!!!!!!

Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
498. IKE
Quoting DestinJeff:


sorry I should have explained. a lot of people discount the XTRP as "not a model" ... but I find it useful in the short-term to see if the models will hit the xtrp. in this case, very few of them appear they will.

so we have to wait and see how long the current fwd motion holds ... the longer it does so, the wider the gap between the models and xtrp. the larger the gap, the more indicative of flawed model solution (in my mind)


Never been used before on Dr. M's blog....

XTRP-CASTER!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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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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