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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62. jsit
its doing something wierd right now.... where is the real center of the thing? looks like its scooting around. Guess Im a newby at this sort of thing but I really cant tell. With that big old mass of what looks like storms above it- will it really matter where the center hits anyhow?
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Quoting gator23:

Levi see my post below. What do you think about this situational development the models have been hinting at and now have come on board with.


Seems rather odd on the models right now, but the pattern favors a possible trough-split near the SE US coast in a few days, so it's possible something might try to spin up down there, but I haven't yet investigated the situation thoroughly. Alex is my primary concern for the moment.
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Quoting jsit:
I dont see this thing behaving well enough for anyone to tell much. It sure seems to change its mind about where its center actually is alot. thats not a professional opinion- its a concerned gulf residents opinion.

yeah well it is very slow and it has outflow.

How long and how much gulf is in cane and outflow. Because of this and because of stalled before models seem to have a hard time.
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Hey 34Chip!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


He actually does, near as I can tell.


Yes, he's on my friends list too.
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hmm
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55. jsit
I dont see this thing behaving well enough for anyone to tell much. It sure seems to change its mind about where its center actually is alot. thats not a professional opinion- its a concerned gulf residents opinion.
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Quoting Levi32:
GFS ensembles shifted south. With these now also showing Mexico in agreement with all the other models, we may be starting to really zero in on the landfall, but this consensus could still shift around in a pattern like this. So far they are right on the south edge of my concern area for landfall, where I outlined Mexico at 25N as the southern boundary.


Levi see my post below. What do you think about this situational development the models have been hinting at and now have come on board with.
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GFS ensembles shifted south. With these now also showing Mexico in agreement with all the other models, we may be starting to really zero in on the landfall, but this consensus could still shift around in a pattern like this. So far they are right on the south edge of my concern area for landfall, where I outlined Mexico at 25N as the southern boundary.

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Maybe it will just sit there and spin itself out lol
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oh
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thx Dr. Rob Carve
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Quoting gator23:
The GFS, GFDL, and the CMC are all calling for a situational Depression/Tropical Storm to form off of Florida at 84 hours. The models have been hinting at this for days. Something to watch

Link

Link

Link


I think perhaps that might just be some sort of incredible error on their part. Specifically, they might be having trouble with the heat transfer, what with the approaching trough poised to pull up tropical moisture from Alex and all.
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Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that the next time I log onto this site I'm going to see an eye forming?
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lmao
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Stranger things have happen before. lol!!!
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The GFS, GFDL, and the CMC are all calling for a situational Depression/Tropical Storm to form off of Florida at 84 hours. The models have been hinting at this for days. Something to watch

Link

Link

Link
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Quoting 34chip:
Alex just may turn to Florida at this point. Don't look like it is moving very much west.


Nope.
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Quoting xcool:
dry air..


Dry air isn't a problem for Alex. In fact, this is about the most moisture you'll ever see in the GOM and Caribbean at one time. This is crazy:




Also, that upper-level low east of Florida needs to be watched. There is a lot of moisture associated with it and if it starts firing convection, it could eventually work its way down to the surface in a few days. And yes, that is ex-94L.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I was thinking about this last night.


Yeah, here is the next trof off the West Coast. You can see the ridge in between it and the trof currently over the Central and Eastern US:

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Alex just may turn to Florida at this point. Don't look like it is moving very much west.
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dry air..
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alex look very disorganized imo
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We have an 80% chance of rain Tuesday and 70% Wednesday here in South Mississippi. It's a result of the huge influx of moisture from Alex combining with that trof that we have been talking about for days on here. On this satellite image, you can see the tropical moisture feeding us from the south and you can see the moisture from the trof approaching from the west in Texas. Anyway, goodnight, everyone! I have a college exam in about 5 and a half hours. LOL. I should be studying...

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yeah cat 1 probably at 12pm
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Quoting xcool:
Claudette1234 ;0
Alex is looking better again should be a hurricane later today probably at 5pm.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
While Alex has gained very little latitude, he has almost gained zero longitude in the past 2 to 2 and a half days. Alex is a slow mover and if he continues this pace, he might take enough time to be influenced by a second trof once the current one moves out. I would put the chances of that happening at less than 5%, but he continues to be pretty far behind schedule.


I was thinking about this last night.
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Claudette1234 ;0
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While Alex has gained very little latitude, he has almost gained zero longitude in the past 2 to 2 and a half days. Alex is a slow mover and if he continues this pace, he might take enough time to be influenced by a second trof once the current one moves out. I would put the chances of that happening at less than 5%, but he continues to be pretty far behind schedule.
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Quoting Levi32:


Lol....but surely he doesn't just accept friend requests from any fan that adds him? I would add him if I didn't feel like it would be weird to do so.


He actually does, near as I can tell.
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6:45Z image IR.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I can't speak for others, but I don't know him personally. I don't know half the people on my friends list personally. lol


Lol....but surely he doesn't just accept friend requests from any fan that adds him? I would add him if I didn't feel like it would be weird to do so.
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Quoting Levi32:
Thanks Dr. Carver.

So here I figure out that a couple of you guys are friends with Dr. Steven Lyons on Facebook...which makes no sense to me lol. How can you guys know him personally? KoritheMan, if you're still here, you're one of them.


I can't speak for others, but I don't know him personally. I don't know half the people on my friends list personally. lol
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Quoting GlobalWarming:
Thanks for the 3am update, Dr. Carver! Good morning and G'nite, all, :). See ya tomorrow, Levi.


Cya.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Levi, don't know if you saw this before the new blog was posted, but I saw you talking about where to find the UKMET, and I thought I'd provide you with another site where you can find it.

They have the 0z and 12z runs of the model here (western portion of screen).


I did see it thanks. I should have remembered the UKMET was on there...just never used that site for it I guess.
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Levi, don't know if you saw this before the new blog was posted, but I saw you talking about where to find the UKMET, and I thought I'd provide you with another site where you can find it.

They have the 0z and 12z runs of the model here (western portion of screen).
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Claudette1234 i have no clue
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Quoting xcool:
weather tap Satellite best off top lol


Hey xcool! Morning

Do you think Alex can land in Texas?
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weather tap Satellite best off top lol
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Thanks Dr. Carver for the update.

Here's the latest imagery of Alex. I'm heading off for the night. Hopefully NASA GHCC will behave tomorrow and give me some images to work with instead of giving the same images over and over again. >.>

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Hello,

I see official Track NHC and ADT position and its moving still north. So probably Alex go some miles north of oficcial forecast. South of Texas.

With google maps oficial forecast pass Throug 91º52' W and ADT position is 91º42' W.
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Claudette1234 hey
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Hello all,

Thanks DR. for update, Great job.
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i have friend work at n;w;s here in slidell la
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yes....Finally starting to see some closed circulation around TS Alexes' eyewall.....too bad its headed right for me....!!!
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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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