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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Looks like the winds didn't catch up to the pressure overnight though. They have gone up a good 10 mph however.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
970

URNT12 KNHC 281152

VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL012010

A. 28/11:32:20Z

B. 20 deg 02 min N

091 deg 33 min W

C. 925 mb 593 m

D. 46 kt

E. 063 deg 14 nm

F. 131 deg 57 kt

G. 053 deg 24 nm

H. EXTRAP 989 mb

I. 20 C / 761 m

J. 23 C / 707 m

K. 16 C / NA

L. NA

M. NA

N. 1234 / 9

O. 0.02 / 1 nm

P. AF306 0501A ALEX OB 07

MAX FL WIND 57 KT NE QUAD 11:23:40Z

SLP EXTRAP FROM 925 MB

GOOD SPIRAL BAND EAST SIDE OF CENTER FIX

;


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting Jeff9641:


You can throw that model out.

That's the Navy and you're Jeff...um, I'm sticking with the Navy for now LOL.
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Quoting caribbeantracker01:
could someone post the hurricane hunters link for me please i lost mine
Link
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290. jpsb
Quoting StormW:
Ok..now don't get scared, as this will most likely change a gazillion times until the G4 flight...but based on what I have been looking at, this may be a good "short term" guidance solution, save the northward turn near the end:

img src="Photobucket" alt="" />
Do you have Alex going ne? Yeah better put that "don't be scared" disclaimer in there! Wow, your track looks nothing like any other I've seen to date. You are a brave man Storm, I salute you.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1190
could someone post the hurricane hunters link for me please i lost mine
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Quoting whipster:


The reason Corpus exists is because of refineries and petrochemical plants...hard to do without oil I reckon...


USA is glued to oil...we use 20 million barrells a day. Face it, accidents are going to happen...but they are rare. Doesn't mean we should stop drilling.

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Quoting Jeff9641:


You can throw that model out.
Why?
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The only good news is that we're getting a break from the heat in SoFla. Even if Alex stays west of LA, those storms won't make it easy for the cleanup workers.
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01L/TS/A/CX
MARK
19.5N/90.9W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting 900MB:
A stronger Cane is more likely to go right then left.

Edit- Darn it! I hate it when my quote thingy doesn't work. That was in response to MiamiHurricane09 and the cone.
Yeah, it looks like the NHC is responding well due to the uncertainty. The model StormW posted is a good idea of the type of cone I'm thinking. This one:

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guys this is the same strength it was at 5 this morning except the pressure is 2 mb lower... the winds are 52 mph per the recon and the advisory showed 50 mph winds.. unless recon finds stronger winds on the south side maybe???
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As we know, more time over water equals more strengthening potential. Right now, it looks like it will be over open water for some time, convection is really starting to fire over the COC, and, a stronger storm will tend to move on the Eastern edge of the current guidance envelope......If sheer does not become an issue, this storm is going to cause some serious problems in the Gulf from Texas to Louisiana.
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279. IKE
I don't see a system that is going to rapidly intensify, for now. A lot of moisture is getting pulled toward the northern GOM, just like the GFS predicted.

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Actually, going more right will make it a stronger cane because it will spend more time over water. The more left, of course, the shorter time and less opportunity to strengthen, I believe. The mets and students like MH09, Drak and Levi could probably tell you about the interaction of the spin and the poles.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Impressive.
Amazing GFDL/HWRF don't strengthen this...I got this as a CAT 2-3 at landfall unless there is shear that I missing.
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thanks posts 257 and 267
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I don't think shear is predicted to be a problem for Alex. And it will 'ramp up' over the next few days. The question is only how long will it stay over water. Right now, it's predicted to get to CAT 2, packing some pretty serious heat at 96-110 mph winds plus driving rain. Definitely something to worry about if you're in the cone.
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274. 900MB
A stronger Cane is more likely to go right then left.

Edit- Darn it! I hate it when my quote thingy doesn't work. That was in response to MiamiHurricane09 and the cone.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
000
URNT12 KNHC 281152
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL012010
A. 28/11:32:20Z
B. 20 deg 02 min N
091 deg 33 min W
C. 925 mb 593 m
D. 46 kt
E. 063 deg 14 nm
F. 131 deg 57 kt
G. 053 deg 24 nm
H. EXTRAP 989 mb
I. 20 C / 761 m
J. 23 C / 707 m
K. 16 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 1234 / 9
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF306 0501A ALEX OB 07
MAX FL WIND 57 KT NE QUAD 11:23:40Z
SLP EXTRAP FROM 925 MB
GOOD SPIRAL BAND EAST SIDE OF CENTER FIX
;


Impressive.
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Quoting victoria780:
Thanks Storm Daytime highs 90-95 degrees====low at night 75-80 degrees 20%chance of rain..This is our weather forcast 90% of the time for 5-months here in South Texas..Only broken by occasional tropical system..So excuse some S.Texas bloggers for getting overly excited..

I stopped getting excited after 2005 when i had 10 family refugees in my house! They always turn north; last time we got hit with major was 1978 Celia a fast westward mover. I just love to watch the action and wait for more people at my door; lol
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 141
000
URNT12 KNHC 281152
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL012010
A. 28/11:32:20Z
B. 20 deg 02 min N
091 deg 33 min W
C. 925 mb 593 m
D. 46 kt
E. 063 deg 14 nm
F. 131 deg 57 kt
G. 053 deg 24 nm
H. EXTRAP 989 mb
I. 20 C / 761 m
J. 23 C / 707 m
K. 16 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 1234 / 9
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF306 0501A ALEX OB 07
MAX FL WIND 57 KT NE QUAD 11:23:40Z
SLP EXTRAP FROM 925 MB
GOOD SPIRAL BAND EAST SIDE OF CENTER FIX
;


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I'm really being impressed by Alex and he could be a hurricane by tonight if he continues current rate of intensification. Also, the NHC is forecasting Alex to become a 110mph category 2 hurricane before landfall, I wouldn't be surprised to see him strengthen passed the 115mph (category 3) threshold. Cone has also been shifting slowly northwards.

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253. Chicklit 7:48 AM EDT on June 28, 2010

Thanks.......Sheer may be a problem for the storm in the long term unless it really ramps up over the next 24-48 hours (but sheer is also forcast to decrease per CIMMS)....It's a wait and see all the way around given the current slow movement, approaching trof, and sheer issues. Guess we will be watching it "fester" in the Bay of Campeche for the next several days as conditions change and evolve.
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268. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


No, last recon was ~06Z.


I figured someone would know.

Thanks.
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Quoting IKE:


I'm not sure if the latest advisory(4 am CDST), coordinates were a recon fix.


No, last recon was ~06Z.
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Quoting southtxweather:
I live very close to Brownsville and the local news has not pushed for people to get ready for the possibility of a near-by Alex hit. All they keep saying is "get your tracking chart at What-a-burger" :/

So far, it may intensify to a CAT 2.
Here's this morning's Navy chart:
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Quoting StormW:
Ok..now don't get scared, as this will most likely change a gazillion times until the G4 flight...but based on what I have been looking at, this may be a good "short term" guidance solution, save the northward turn near the end:

img src="Photobucket" alt="" />
Thanks Storm Daytime highs 90-95 degrees====low at night 75-80 degrees 20%chance of rain..This is our weather forcast 90% of the time for 5-months here in South Texas..Only broken by occasional tropical system..So excuse some S.Texas bloggers for getting overly excited..
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263. 900MB
Hmmmm, I have a gut feeling that we should throw all the models out and start over. This is a very strong storm with low pressure and high ssts. Looks like a lane will open to the middle of the Gulf. I am thinking further East, maybe back to yesterday's GFS which brings Alex to Western La.. Just my gut.
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Quoting OSMS:


The beaches of Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, and Biloxi are NOT covered in oil. They found one blob in Gulf Park Estates. Please get your facts straight before making a comment like that.


This Youtube vid shows the effect of the oil on Pensacola's beaches:

Link
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Crafty how Alex is moving only about 6 mph as that trough lifts out,taking with it wind shear.
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259. IKE
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:



do you think movement is due north of do you think that the previous advisory was off


I'm not sure if the latest advisory(4 am CDST), coordinates were a recon fix.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting leelee75k:
didn't one of those models show something on the west coast of florida at the same time Alex is making landfall?

If all that stuff in the gulf is directly related to Alex, then it looks like he might separate into two storms, is that possible?
'

That was the GFS, not sure if it was the old or new, but the GFS has been a little, hmm, wobbly.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
Quoting StormW:
Ok..now don't get scared, as this will most likely change a gazillion times until the G4 flight...but based on what I have been looking at, this may be a good "short term" guidance solution, save the northward turn near the end:

img src="Photobucket" alt="" />
How close is that to Corpus Christi?
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I live very close to Brownsville and the local news has not pushed for people to get ready for the possibility of a near-by Alex hit. All they keep saying is "get your tracking chart at What-a-burger" :/
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Thanks Storm!
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 141
Good morning, WWannaB,
The anticyclone has moved over into TX.

Alex already has spin and needs nothing more than time over water to strengthen, however.
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didn't one of those models show something on the west coast of florida at the same time Alex is making landfall?

If all that stuff in the gulf is directly related to Alex, then it looks like he might separate into two storms, is that possible?
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Quoting IKE:
Looks like the center is near 20.0N and 91.6W.

Earlier advisory had...Location: 19.7°N 91.6°W.



do you think movement is due north of do you think that the previous advisory was off
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Quoting tramp96:
We all love the beach but most of drive to get too it .How did you get there?

Have to drive cause they dredged the intercoastal causeway; and I'm not rich enough to have a home near the beach.
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 141
Quoting IKE:
Looks like the center is near 20.0N and 91.6W.

Earlier advisory had...Location: 19.7°N 91.6°W.


That sounds due north from the earlier advisory
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247. IKE
Looks like the center is near 20.0N and 91.6W.

Earlier advisory had...Location: 19.7°N 91.6°W.
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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.