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 jpsb:
What happened to Darby?


Alex ate it.

Quoting beell:


Nice one!


Well, that's what happened with Dolly and Allison.
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Quoting rarepearldesign:


No thanks, that's where I am from. You keep it in Mexico/Texas...or better yet, let it die in the gulf (dreaming I know).


Send me some Brothers TNT and your forgiven.
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660. jpsb
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Alex was hungry
Alex ate Darby? Damn, I saw it was robbing Darby's convection the other day but I did not think it would eat the entire hurricane. Is that kinda unusual? Never heard of TS eating a hurricane before. That Alex is a mean one!
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Euro>>>GFS on Alex. Have a good day...next system is about 10 days down the road.
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657. hercj
Quoting Patrap:


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) not only tracks hurricanes, makes forecasts based on their predictions, but they also are in existence to education the government and general public about hurricanes. The National Hurricane Center has been busy for the last few years with some of the worst, most devastating hurricanes in recorded history! The National Hurricane Center website is a great source of information. The website has the National Hurricane Center forecasts, hurricane history, and other miscellaneous links you may find valuable on hurricane related topics.

NHC Mission Statement

The NHC mission statement is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards. It is important for you to pay attention when you hear alerts, watches, and warnings provided by this official hurricane organization. By listening to information given and the official National Hurricane Center concern behind it, you will be able to make education decisions on preparing for a hurricane, preventative damage, and protecting your family.

Ah good morning Pat.
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Coldest morning in three years chills NSW

Much of New South Wales, including Sydney has been gripped by the coldest morning in three years, record cold in some places.

Most of the state was about five to 10 degrees colder than the June average.

The state's coldest place was Glen Innes on the Northern Tablelands where it dropped to minus 10 degrees.

The coldest spot across Sydney this morning was Richmond which recorded a temperature of minus 3.8 degrees, the coldest it's been in five years.

This sort of cold is not unusual for July or August but for June it's much more rare.

Sydney city got as cold as 4.7 degrees at about sunrise, the coldest in three years and the coldest June morning in 27 years.

In the northwest of the state Bourke and Walgett both chilled to minus four degrees and Lightning Ridge minus two, the coldest it's been in June in more than a decade.

Most of NSW will be similarly cold on Wednesday morning with further severe frost expected.

From Thursday, mornings will still be cold but become progressively warmer as the coldest air dissipates and cloud and wind increase.

The crisp clear weather will turn cloudy and rainy in the north late in the week as moisture filters in from the tropics.

© Weatherzone 2010
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Good Evening from an almost frozen Sydney. Currently it's 41.7°F tonight's low is meant to be 34°F.

How close is Alex to becoming a Hurricane, How many more kts does he have to gain?


Its about 3-4 mph away.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
On the kids.... curiously enough, it was considerably WILDER in here on Sunday..... wonder who was off then who isn't on now....?????


Its too early in the morning for many, up all night, sleep till the afternoon..... ahhh the carefree days of summer vacation.
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alex makes ike look like a baby.
I never seen a storm so large in my life, especially a a weak tropical storm.
shouldn't of ate darby poor guy.
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I apologize to you adjusters. Most of you are good, honest people. My gripes are the result of owning a house on the west end of Dauphin Island that was badly damaged by both Ivan and Katrina. Adjusters showed up and undervalued the damage at about 30K each time. I had to come out of pocket each time. I blame the Insurance companies, not you guys. But I swear, if either one of those adjusters showed up on my front porch, I'd hit em so hard they wouldn't need no rocket to fly through space.
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Quoting MrNatural:
Good morning all. Alex should continue to strengthen as it rids itself of the frictional forces of the Yucatan and moves over warmer GOM waters. I would like to recommend that folks in the my hometown of Austin and the Central Texas corridor from say San Antonio to Waco keep a close eye on developments. If Alex follows the NHC track, it will interact and follow the current weakness in the upper air. Currently that weakness is located in the western Hill country. This would allow wet side of Alex to interact with the hill country further increasing rain fall rates. Additional thoughts as the path of Alex firms up.

Good Evening from an almost frozen Sydney. Currently it's 41.7°F tonight's low is meant to be 34°F.

How close is Alex to becoming a Hurricane, How many more kts does he have to gain?
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Quoting AustinTXWeather:
Hi all - at what point did the current models anticipate Alex to turn more west? I'm specifically trying to find out what's anticipated for the Galveston/Houston area so welcome grounded insight. Are they anticipating storms in this area and if so, when are they likely?


I believe that turn is beginning. Considering the size of the storm, you can be assured that the Galveston/Houston area will at least get a drenching.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Nova Scotia?


No thanks, that's where I am from. You keep it in Mexico/Texas...or better yet, let it die in the gulf (dreaming I know).
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Well, I'm out. Gotta go earn my bagel. lol

Have a good one!
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646. beell
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


I have a feeling that most of this storm's damage will end up being on land.


Nice one!
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Quoting IKE:
System is bending more west right now. Put your specks on and speed up the visible floater. Stand back 5-10 feet from the computer and look at it. You can see it aiming in on northern Mexico/Texas state line.


Yup. I think it's very likely the NHC will be correct.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Cell phones have internet now, they'll still be on here. Thats how they're on September - November. Crazy aint it?


they can get on their black berries and type away.
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Quoting apocalyps:
I am starting to think the GOM is to small for Alex.Maybe he will go true an eye wall replacement and jumps in the East-pacific.
More room overthere


thats impossible.
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Alex is simultaneously producing thunderstorms in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Jamaica, Panama and Mexico. It's about eleven times the size of Texas including spiral bands.
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I think storms like Alex and Ike will become more common. Weak in winds but huge storm surge and large drop of pressure.
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Quoting illinichaser:
Alex may very well be a CAT 3 at landfall and looking at the lastest satellite, you can see the convection really blossoming, DEEPLY. This is as good as Alex has looked to date and with his vertical structure lining up, reducing wind shear, faster movement, warmer waters, RI has to be considered today and tonight if this convection holds steady throughout the afternoon. I could see this storm dropping 15 to 20 millibars today.


I'll be very surprised to see it reach strong cat 2.

It's working on filling the dry slot in the north west quad.

A burst of convection doesnt mean its in a rapid strengthening phase, just means its feeding off the warm waters.


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Quoting primadonnagirl:


yes, he is going west now I think.
huh ????
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Please don't quote the trolls. Ignore user is a wonderful thing!!
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Good morning all. Alex should continue to strengthen as it rids itself of the frictional forces of the Yucatan and moves over warmer GOM waters. I would like to recommend that folks in the my hometown of Austin and the Central Texas corridor from say San Antonio to Waco keep a close eye on developments. If Alex follows the NHC track, it will interact and follow the current weakness in the upper air. Currently that weakness is located in the western Hill country. This would allow wet side of Alex to interact with the hill country further increasing rain fall rates. Additional thoughts as the path of Alex firms up.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I agree. Also did you see on the recon the winds drop when they found the lowest pressure? Eye developing.


Yup. Looks like we should be very close to seeing a hurricane.
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632. IKE
System is bending more west right now. Put your specks on and speed up the visible floater. Stand back 5-10 feet from the computer and look at it. You can see it aiming in on northern Mexico/Texas state line.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858


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Quoting jpsb:
What happened to Darby?


Alex was hungry
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Quoting StormChaser81:


Cat 1 pressure, could also take a little while for the winds to catch up with the pressure decrease.



1MB FROM CAT2 AND STILL NO HURRICANE CLASSIFICATION!
THIS IS EXTREMELY UNUSUAL AND I DONT WANNA HEAR ANY ARGUEMENTS.
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627. jpsb
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
If the East Pacific side of Alex gets any larger, it'll eat Celia, too.

What happened to Darby?
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The National Hurricane Center (NHC) not only tracks hurricanes, makes forecasts based on their predictions, but they also are in existence to education the government and general public about hurricanes. The National Hurricane Center has been busy for the last few years with some of the worst, most devastating hurricanes in recorded history! The National Hurricane Center website is a great source of information. The website has the National Hurricane Center forecasts, hurricane history, and other miscellaneous links you may find valuable on hurricane related topics.

NHC Mission Statement

The NHC mission statement is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards. It is important for you to pay attention when you hear alerts, watches, and warnings provided by this official hurricane organization. By listening to information given and the official National Hurricane Center concern behind it, you will be able to make education decisions on preparing for a hurricane, preventative damage, and protecting your family.
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Quoting extreme236:


Alex still has 36-48 hours until landfall. I'd find it hard to believe that it's just gonna sit there at 60-65kts that whole time under mostly favorable conditions. Especially since it's developing an eye.


I agree. Also did you see on the recon the winds drop when they found the lowest pressure? Eye developing.
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Quoting apocalyps:


Downcaster
ME? Ordinarily my forecast bias is for genesis and intensification. But I know when to let it go. The only Cat 2+ storms that have this much dry air and disjointed convective banding are weakening from being majors, not intensifying into them.
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Quoting IMA:
My thoughts exactly. lol "Inland" would work, though. I told myself that was what was meant. ...and good morning, Orca!


I bad..I couldn't help myself :)
Good morning to you also :)
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621. jpsb
Quoting LightningCharmer:


The NHC is always right because they adjust their track/intensity with each update as conditions change. Their job is to provide warning for the protection of life and property and to limit losses. They do a great job.


Bump!
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On the kids.... curiously enough, it was considerably WILDER in here on Sunday..... wonder who was off then who isn't on now....?????
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If the East Pacific side of Alex gets any larger, it'll eat Celia, too.

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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Nova Scotia?


ummmm ok :)
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Alex may very well be a CAT 3 at landfall and looking at the lastest satellite, you can see the convection really blossoming, DEEPLY. This is as good as Alex has looked to date and with his vertical structure lining up, reducing wind shear, faster movement, warmer waters, RI has to be considered today and tonight if this convection holds steady throughout the afternoon. I could see this storm dropping 15 to 20 millibars today.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:
Question - is the ridge really going to be strong enough to curve Alex westward?


Ofcourse not.just wishcasting from NHC.
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Quoting Dropsonde:
I'll take that bet. It is not going to blow up over the water it is over because there is limited heat in it, and it's not moving fast. There is an outside chance that NHC will upgrade to a Cat 1 before landfall to err on the side of caution, but I don't think it's going any higher than that.

I love intense storms too, but this one hasn't got it. I'm not going to hang on to something that won't happen. There will be plenty of Cat 3s probably beginning as soon as next month.


Alex still has 36-48 hours until landfall. I'd find it hard to believe that it's just gonna sit there at 60-65kts that whole time under mostly favorable conditions. Especially since it's developing an eye.
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612. IMA
Quoting Orcasystems:


NS
My thoughts exactly. lol "Inland" would work, though. I told myself that was what was meant. ...and good morning, Orca!
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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.