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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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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...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
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Product: Air Force Temp Drop (Dropsonde) Message (UZNT13 KNHC)
Transmitted: 29th day of the month at 11:49Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 01
Storm Name: Alex (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 07

Part A...

Date: Near the closest hour of 12Z on the 29th day of the month
Highest Mandatory Level For Which Wind Was Reported: 850mb
Coordinates: 22.4N 92.6W
Location: 215 miles (347 km) to the WNW (297°) from Mérida, Yucatán, México.
Marsden Square: 082 (About)

Level Geo. Height Air Temp. Dew Point Wind Direction Wind Speed
983mb (29.03 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 27.2°C (81.0°F) 27.2°C (81.0°F) 170° (from the S) 7 knots (8 mph)
1000mb -156m (-512 ft) Other data not available.
925mb 537m (1,762 ft) 24.2°C (75.6°F) 24.2°C (75.6°F) 180° (from the S) 2 knots (2 mph)
850mb 1,277m (4,190 ft) 21.0°C (69.8°F) 21.0°C (69.8°F) 170° (from the S) 5 knots (6 mph)

Information About Radiosonde:
- Launch Time: 11:34Z
- About Sonde: A descending radiosonde tracked automatically by satellite navigation with no solar or infrared correction.

Remarks Section...

Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Splash Location: 22.39N 92.62W
Splash Time: 11:36Z

Release Location: 22.39N 92.61W View map)
Release Time: 11:34:29Z

Splash Location: 22.39N 92.62W (
Splash Time: 11:35:39Z

Mean Boundary Level Wind (mean wind in the lowest 500 geopotential meters of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 170° (from the S)
- Wind Speed: 5 knots (6 mph)

Deep Layer Mean Wind (average wind over the depth of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 170° (from the S)
- Wind Speed: 4 knots (5 mph)
- Depth of Sounding: From 843mb to 982mb

Average Wind Over Lowest Available 150 geopotential meters (gpm) of the sounding:
- Lowest 150m: 151 gpm - 1 gpm (495 geo. feet - 3 geo. feet)
- Wind Direction: 165° (from the SSE)
- Wind Speed: 8 knots (9 mph)

Sounding Software Version: AEV 20800

Part B: Data For Significant Levels...

Significant Temperature And Relative Humidity Levels...
Level Air Temperature Dew Point
983mb (Surface) 27.2°C (81.0°F) 27.2°C (81.0°F)
858mb 21.6°C (70.9°F) 21.4°C (70.5°F)
850mb 21.0°C (69.8°F) 21.0°C (69.8°F)
843mb 20.0°C (68.0°F) 20.0°C (68.0°F)

Significant Wind Levels...
Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
983mb (Surface) 170° (from the S) 7 knots (8 mph)
931mb 165° (from the SSE) 2 knots (2 mph)
858mb 165° (from the SSE) 5 knots (6 mph)
843mb 170° (from the S) 6 knots (7 mph)

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Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

recon has an eye
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Quoting Chicklit:
Good morning, this is from the 4 a.m. Discussion.
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY INDICATES THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW PATTERN IS STRONGLY ELONGATED IN A NORTH-SOUTH ORIENTATION. THIS IS A GOOD SHORT-TERM MOTION INDICATOR...WHICH WOULD SUGGEST THAT ALEX SHOULD MAINTAIN ITS CURRENT NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION FOR ANOTHER 6-12 HOURS BEFORE TURNING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST.

Boxing Moose?

Kangaroo
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I see a couple readings of 982.7 in there. Impressive.
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Quoting primadonnagirl:


not a kid, just poor memory.


I suffer the same affliction(s). :-)
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Quoting Chicklit:


5-Day as of 4 a.m.


Good Morning!

IMO, Alex is heading more north of the models, and the NHC acknowledges it.

HOWEVER...ALEX HAS SHOWN NO SIGNS OF MAKING ANY
SIGNIFICANT WESTWARD PROGRESS LIKE THE ECMWF...NOGAPS...GFS...AND
GFDL MODELS HAVE BEEN AND ARE STILL FORECASTING TO OCCUR.
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Quoting JDSmith:


982? LOL


yea that
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203. IKE
Quoting gator23:

I think shes 12 and if what you say is true then 2005 RITA,KATRINA,WILMA,
2006 DEBBY (fl), ALBERTO(fl)
2007 BARRY (fl)
2008 FAY(fl)
2009 Claudette(fl) NO STORMS IT TEXAS THIS YEAR


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.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
recon just went back to the center again and found 882 again


982? LOL
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5-Day as of 4 a.m.
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Quoting gator23:


2007 BARRY (fl)
2008 FAY(fl) Gustav(fl)
2009 Claudette(fl) NO STORMS IT TEXAS THIS YEAR


thank you, now I remember.
recon just went back to the center again and found 882 again
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Quoting gator23:

I think shes 12 and if what you say is true then 2005 RITA,KATRINA,WILMA,
2006 DEBBY (fl), ALBERTO(fl)
2007 BARRY (fl)
2008 FAY(fl)
2009 Claudette(fl) NO STORMS IT TEXAS THIS YEAR


not a kid, just poor memory.
Quoting primadonnagirl:


im talking about 2007 and up


2007 BARRY (fl)
2008 FAY(fl) Gustav(fl)
2009 Claudette(fl) NO STORMS IT TEXAS THIS YEAR
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alex move nw now
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Quoting swlaaggie:


Please add Gustav to that list.

noted.
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Quoting gator23:


I know right? except you forgot, Wilma(fl), Katrina(fl,LA), Charlie (Fl), Ivan (fl,al), Frances(Fl), Jeanne(Fl), Rita(Fl,TX) I think what you mean to say isnt it wierd that nothign has changed and that Florida is still the most susceptible to storm strikes... POOF


im talking about 2007 and up
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:


I think he is referring to since 2005

I think shes 12 and if what you say is true then 2005 RITA,KATRINA,WILMA,
2006 DEBBY (fl), ALBERTO(fl)
2007 BARRY (fl)
2008 FAY(fl)
2009 Claudette(fl) NO STORMS IT TEXAS THIS YEAR
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:


I see rain. Good, we need it in S. Florida.


Yes, it has been anomalously dry here. I guess this compensated for the unusually wet winter we had.
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Quoting gator23:


I know right? except you forgot, Wilma(fl), Katrina(fl,LA), Charlie (Fl), Ivan (fl,al), Frances(Fl), Jeanne(Fl), Rita(Fl,TX)poof


Please add Gustav to that list.
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Quoting washingaway:


I'm on Google Earth. You get the recon file here


Thank you very much its works.
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I wonder if someone might post a current SLOSH model link so we can stay up on Alex' surge? Can't find anything active via my searching. Thanks!
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lol i think he mean after 2005
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187. IKE
Quoting WPBHurricane05:


I see rain. Good, we need it in S. Florida.


You and me may both get it. My forecast is for 1-2 inches tomorrow alone, BEFORE this spurious(?), low spins up.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Good morning, this is from the 4 a.m. Discussion.
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY INDICATES THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW PATTERN IS STRONGLY ELONGATED IN A NORTH-SOUTH ORIENTATION. THIS IS A GOOD SHORT-TERM MOTION INDICATOR...WHICH WOULD SUGGEST THAT ALEX SHOULD MAINTAIN ITS CURRENT NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION FOR ANOTHER 6-12 HOURS BEFORE TURNING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST.


Boxing Moose
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Quoting IKE:
GFDL,6Z, spins it up in the NE GOM...Bonnie?

@114 hours...



I see rain. Good, we need it in S. Florida.
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Opps here

One to many /
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183. IKE
GFDL,6Z, spins it up in the NE GOM...Bonnie?

@114 hours...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting gator23:


I know right? except you forgot, Wilma(fl), Katrina(fl,LA), Charlie (Fl), Ivan (fl,al), Frances(Fl), Jeanne(Fl), Rita(Fl,TX)poof


I think he is referring to since 2005
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Quoting Claudette1234:


Hello, Do you have a link to see Recon Data?

Thx


I'm on Google Earth. You get the recon file here
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Quoting primadonnagirl:
isn't it kinda of weird that every storm that hits the U.S now just goes to texas?

erin
Humberto
dolly
edward
ike
and now alex

exept for fay and claudette the rest been hitting Texas.



I know right? except you forgot, Wilma(fl), Katrina(fl,LA), Charlie (Fl), Ivan (fl,al), Frances(Fl), Jeanne(Fl), Rita(Fl,TX) I think what you mean to say isnt it wierd that nothign has changed and that Florida is still the most susceptible to storm strikes... POOF
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Brownsville TROPICAL CYCLONE IMPACTS webpage.
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low end cat2 at best imo . landfall south of border
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Quoting Weather456:
Should Alex become a hurricane before the 11pm advisory on Wednesday night, it would be recorded as a June hurricane. We have not had one in a very long time, not even in 2005. The date for the first hurricane is Aug 10. We would surpass 2005 by a few days - Cindy.


"First hurricane Aug 10"? Dolly hit on July 23.
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982 is the pressure now
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Quoting washingaway:
Looking at recon, he seems be going more NW than NNW now. Right on track


Hello, Do you have a link to see Recon Data?

Thx
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173. IKE
Corpus Christi forecast shows gusts to 50 mph tomorrow night after midnight, through Thursday.

Houston shows winds to only 15 mph tomorrow night and Thursday....surprising...Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
It's those outer rain bans that look ominous to me....
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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
Looking at recon, he seems be going more NW than NNW now. Right on track
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Quoting Or4590:
alex 0% chance becoming major hurricane imo

he take too long to get organized and been in water now for over 24 hours.


i disagree major can still happen. higher heat content water coming and he is just getting lined up. cat 2 outside chance at cat 3 --10%
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06Z GFDL 48 hours


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Think I will clean and gas up my truck...looks like we're in for nasty weather here in SWLA....
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alex 0% chance becoming major hurricane imo

he take too long to get organized and been in water now for over 24 hours.
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Sorry folks. If I have the forecast points laid over Alex's motion, it seems as if he is dead on forecast track....thus far. I'm not sure I understand the concern regarding a SE Tx or even an upper Tx coast hit. Even the 6Z GFS isn't backing off a TX/MX landfall. Can there be a shift within the cone or even some slight shifting of the cone? Sure. No doubt. However, a very radical cone movement that much to the north at this point just seems a bit much 72 hours out. Where is my reasoning incorrect? Thx.
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i know it was quite bad in harlingen 30 minutes to the east..hurricane force winds for 14 hours
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162. IKE
Quoting southtxweather:
Good morning~

I am in McAllen TX, inland from Brownsville. Should we board the windows?

Thanks for your help!!


I'd be doing something if it were me. NHC states that intensity is hardest to forecast. He looks on his way to a cane. NHC has the path about zeroed in.

Good luck!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860

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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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