Alex Slowly Gains Strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:35 AM GMT on June 29, 2010

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Hello, it's Dr. Rob Carver substituting for Jeff on the late shift.

As of the 0100 EDT advisory, Alex is 475 miles SE of Brownsville TX moving NNW at 8 mph. The advisory wind speed is 65 mph with a minimum central pressure of 985 mb. The most recent vortex fix was at 1225EDT with an unchanged pressure reading. Alex is expected to take a turn to the NW and make landfall just south of Brownsville late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane warning from the mouth of the Rio Grande south to La Cruz. NHC has hoisted the hurricane warning flag from the Rio Grande north to Baffin Bay. A tropical storm warning extends from Baffin Bay to Port O'Connor. Alex is expected to expand in size so it will be much larger than Hurricane Dolly, which was the last storm to affect the region in 2008.

Hurricane Local Statements are now being issued by the Brownsville and Corpus Christi NWS offices. These statements provide a detailed look at how Alex will affect the region and summarize how local emergency management is responding to the situation.

Alex has three different ways to negatively impact the Rio Grande Valley: storm surge, heavy rains, and strong winds.

Risk of Storm Surge
NHC is forecasting a storm surge of 3-5 feet along the coast north of where Alex makes landfall. The exact details of the surge's extent depend on where Alex makes landfall and how big it gets while it is over the open water. I've include a plot of the statistical storm surge forecast product. Unless Alex refuses to make it's left turn, I don't think there's a chance of storm surge north of Port O'Connor.

Plot of experimental storm surge forecast.

Threat from Rain
NHC thinks 5 to 10 inches of rain over southern Texas/northern Mexico is possible when Alex makes landfall. This is why the Brownsville office thinks the primary threat from Alex will be inland flooding in areas with poor drainage.

Alex has a history of producing torrential amounts of rain as shown by this estimate of rainfall during Alex's passage over the Yucatan Peninsula.

Satellite-derived rainfall estimates for June 27, 2010 using data from the Climate Prediction Center.

Threat from Wind
Alex is currently forecast to reach hurricane status. There will likely be hurricane force winds along the coast where Alex makes landfall. The current hurricane wind probabilities show that Brownsville has a 77% chance of experiencing tropical storm force winds and a 18% chance of experiencing hurricane force winds. Corpus Christi has a 44 % chance of tropical storm winds and a 4% chance of hurricane force winds. There is also the possibility of tornadoes forming in outer rainbands as Alex makes landfall.

The Curious Incident of the Hurricane Dynamical Models
One thing that strikes me as odd about Alex is that neither the GFDL nor the HWRF have been intensifying the storm into a hurricane in the past few model runs. This is intriguing because Alex is already a strong tropical storm. It will bear watching to see if GFDL/HWRF continue this pattern for future storms.

Next Update
Jeff will post an entry sometime this morning, and I'll have another entry late Tuesday night.

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I see dry humor in Alex.Fooling the tracks
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
I just got off the phone with Oz. He's pulling out of Los Alamos in the next hour and heading for South Padre Island. It's a 16 hr drive.
The XTREME TEAM rides again!
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Okay guys, got to go. Bye!
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Its funny how people keep talking about "dry air" in Alex.

I just DARE you guys to check the soundings of areas within Alex and also around Alex. You'll find PW's between 2.5 to as much as 3.00!

Sorry, but that happens to be as about as moist as the air will EVER get.

Every now in then, hurricanes do pull in dry air into their circulation, because they enter a hostile environment usually into dry regions.

However, you'll know when a hurricane actually sucks "dry air" into its circulation....
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Snowlover, from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. Alex coordinates went from 21.7N to 22.5N and 91.9W to 92.9W so it looks like the northwest turn may be starting in earnest.



Hi Chicklit, Alex will have another 6-12 hours of NNW, before he goes WNW/NW, according to the NHC discussion.
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Quoting Snowlover123:


Lol, it's not going "nww" it's going nnw.
I think he meant NNW. Lol.
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Quoting apocalyps:
I see a NNW motion to.
Maybe my eyes are fooling me?
Coordinates however say the same thing.
I dont understand why Alex should now start turning West?That high has already proven its to weak to push Alex West.So why still hoping it will turn west now?


The NHC has Alex to the NNW at 12 mph.
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Quoting Or4590:


alex still heading nnw read
Yes current motion is towards the NNW, but Alex no longer can go straight northwards into Louisiana as the ridge to the north built back in and literally "ate" the weakness. Alex can now move WNW/NW until he goes further north and begin to "recurve" towards the coast.
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Hi Snowlover, from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. Alex coordinates went from 21.7N to 22.5N and 91.9W to 92.9W so it looks like the northwest turn may be starting in earnest.

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I see a NNW motion to.
Maybe my eyes are fooling me?
Coordinates however say the same thing.
I dont understand why Alex should now start turning West?That high has already proven its to weak to push Alex West.So why still hoping it will turn west now?
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
nw w friend the chance to go north has passed


Lol, it's not going "nww" it's going nnw.
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Yikes Alex is looking pretty ragged this morning...
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Its funny how people keep talking about "dry air" in Alex.

I just DARE you guys to check the soundings of areas within Alex and also around Alex. You'll find PW's between 2.5 to as much as 3.00!

Sorry, but that happens to be as about as moist as the air will EVER get.

Every now in then, hurricanes do pull in dry air into their circulation, because they enter a hostile environment usually into dry regions.

However, you'll know when a hurricane actually sucks "dry air" into its circulation....
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
nw w friend the chance to go north has passed
Yup. The ridge to the north built back in and all Alex will be doing is NW/WNW motion and nothing more until it curves a little more towards the west as it nears the coast. My landfall location is 26.0˚N, which happened to be right down the city of Brownsville.
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Quoting IKE:
1-5 day QPF....oh my....

<

I think we got that much here yesterday
Member Since: November 1, 2004 Posts: 25 Comments: 8912
Or45- you are correct, the dry air was brief, but it was just a little something to slow down consolidation.

We'll take anything we can get.

Ike- regardless of the long range, I expect even Alex's waves to put a damper on progress in the DWH area.

you and I- NOLA on eastward- good bit of rain coming.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25507
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
nw w friend the chance to go north has passed


alex still heading nnw read
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Quoting Berryfine1:


"First hurricane Aug 10"? Dolly hit on July 23.
Average first hurricane is Aug 10. He's right. Been a while since a hurricane in June....
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The Motion is NNW at 12...


...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS ALEX MOVING FASTER TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST...
7:00 AM CDT Tue Jun 29
Location: 22.5 N 92.7 W
Max sustained: 70 mph
Moving: NNW at 12 mph
Min pressure: 983 mb
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting apocalyps:
and North Alex goes.
I did not had a good feeling about that ridge building in yesterday.To weak to push Alex west.
looks more like a Louisiana track to me.
I think Alex want to hit BP.


And there Alex goes, North of the models. Hurricanes, folks, unlike us, do not live off of models, and they don't care what the models say. The high in the Rockies is weakening, so therefore, it will not have as much of an impact on Alex.

The models, blatently ignorant to this, show Alex already turning west, when it is heading almost due north right now!
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240. IKE
1-5 day QPF....oh my....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
GOM 84 Hour Wave Forecast (using MIKE21)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting apocalyps:
and North Alex goes.
I did not had a good feeling about that ridge building in yesterday.To weak to push Alex west.
looks more like a Louisiana track to me.
I think Alex want to hit BP.
nw w friend the chance to go north has passed
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South Padre Island is under a Voluntary Evac order
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Indeed, what is that? Here in St Pete, it's finally wet and seeking more to relieve long term dry spell
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235. IKE
Quoting aquak9:
222- thank ike. Not a good place- end of run- to wanna see anything.


CMC shows it...GFDL and HWRF....GFS. New GFS does not show anything....nor does the ECMWF. I wouldn't bet on it happening yet.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting aquak9:


Alex is no where near "perfect". He's really big, and having a hard time consolidating tightly. He's ingested some dry air, dealing with a little shear to the NW, he's no where near perfect. Low and mid levels getting aligned pretty good, I'll give ya that.

Review Charlie, Wilma, Rita, and Felix. Those had some perfection, esp Felix.

But it's ok, I was a teenager once, too.



dry air no longer problem for alex
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and North Alex goes.
I did not had a good feeling about that ridge building in yesterday.To weak to push Alex west.
looks more like a Louisiana track to me.
I think Alex want to hit BP.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
what did I tell you a developing eyewall :)
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Quoting Chicklit:
Good eye Navi!

000
WTNT31 KNHC 291153
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM ALEX INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 15A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
700 AM CDT TUE JUN 29 2010

...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS ALEX MOVING FASTER TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST...


SUMMARY OF 700 AM CDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.5N 92.7W ABOUT 335 MI...540 KM ESE OF LA PESCA MEXICO ABOUT 380 MI...610 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/HR PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/HR MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...983 MB...29.03 INCHES

Alex picking up speed.


Because Alex is picking up speed, what is your take on that?
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Good morning ya'll! I have a couple of quick questions.
First, is there a way to easily use Google Earth to see the "live" recon position?
Second, I see that the HWRF model is still calling for a lower Texas coast landfall. How accurate has the HWRF been recently?
Last, what are everyone's thoughts on the actual landfall...models are mostly showing slightly south of Brownsville...does everyone pretty much agree, looking at the info that's available?
Boz
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222- thank ike. Not a good place- end of run- to wanna see anything.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25507
Good eye Navi!

000
WTNT31 KNHC 291153
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM ALEX INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 15A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
700 AM CDT TUE JUN 29 2010

...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS ALEX MOVING FASTER TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST...


SUMMARY OF 700 AM CDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.5N 92.7W ABOUT 335 MI...540 KM ESE OF LA PESCA MEXICO ABOUT 380 MI...610 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/HR PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/HR MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...983 MB...29.03 INCHES

Alex picking up speed.
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400

URNT12 KNHC 291153

VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL012010

A. 29/11:29:00Z

B. 22 deg 22 min N

092 deg 37 min W

C. 850 mb 1276 m

D. 57 kt

E. 087 deg 19 nm

F. 145 deg 70 kt

G. 063 deg 68 nm

H. 983 mb

I. 17 C / 1521 m

J. 20 C / 1525 m

K. 18 C / NA

L. NA

M. NA

N. 12345 / 8

O. 0.02 / 0 nm

P. AF306 0801A ALEX OB 05

MAX FL WIND 70 KT NE QUAD 11:05:30Z

MAX FL TEMP 21 C 089 / 6 NM FROM FL CNTR

RADAR SHOWS PARTIAL EYEWALL NE AND MULTIPLE THIN SPIRAL BANDS

;


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Quoting primadonnagirl:
alex still has a change to be a major, he is too perfect, he is getting ready for his final act.

alex is going to be a legand


Alex is no where near "perfect". He's really big, and having a hard time consolidating tightly. He's ingested some dry air, dealing with a little shear to the NW, he's no where near perfect. Low and mid levels getting aligned pretty good, I'll give ya that.

Review Charlie, Wilma, Rita, and Felix. Those had some perfection, esp Felix.

But it's ok, I was a teenager once, too.

Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25507
I know Texans don't like being told what to do. LOL

Seriously, the time is now to make sure you're ready for Alex.

READY OR NOT? - http://www.texasprepares.org/

Texas Department of State Health Services

Some bloggers here like PATRAP have some excellent resources as well on preparedness.
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222. IKE
Alex is starting to move on and will be moving in. Stay safe everyone in it's path.

Here's the 6Z HWRF on Alex and what's that in the NE GOM on the end of the run?Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
11:15 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting EasttexasAggie:
Im looking at it like it may loose motion again sometime this afternoon. With the highs being downgraded what will drive it?


The highs are indeed weakening, but I'm not sure what that exactly means... I think it means that it won't have as much of an influence on Alex?
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

recon has an eye

I have two eyes lol
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Quoting IKE:
4:00 AM CDT Tue Jun 29
Location: 21.7°N 91.9°W
Max sustained: 70 mph
Moving: NNW at 8 mph
Min pressure: 984 mb


...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS ALEX MOVING FASTER TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST...
7:00 AM CDT Tue Jun 29
Location: 22.5°N 92.7°W
Max sustained: 70 mph
Moving: NNW at 12 mph
Min pressure: 983 mb


O boy...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Im looking at it like it may lose motion again sometime this afternoon. With the highs being downgraded what will drive it?
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
that is why they looped back to the center was to drop that dropsound
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213. IKE
4:00 AM CDT Tue Jun 29
Location: 21.7°N 91.9°W
Max sustained: 70 mph
Moving: NNW at 8 mph
Min pressure: 984 mb


...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS ALEX MOVING FASTER TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST...
7:00 AM CDT Tue Jun 29
Location: 22.5°N 92.7°W
Max sustained: 70 mph
Moving: NNW at 12 mph
Min pressure: 983 mb
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:


Where I live at...we haven't had a direct hit(less than 100 miles of a major cane), since Opal. That was 15 years ago. I'm not complaining.

The comeback is....we're overdue. Hopefully not.

Thats crazy, Even Gainesville got Fay, direct hit...
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.