Alex Slowly Gains Strength

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

Share this Blog
2
+

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.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 612 - 562

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

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!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanehanna:
Question - is the ridge really going to be strong enough to curve Alex westward?


yes, he is going west now I think.
Quoting primadonnagirl:


they can still get on at school.


Yep... called the library XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Last shot before I get off for a while...

The "north"-ies keep ignoring the part of the forecast track which calls for a Nward movement - which movement has been called for since I got on the blog this weekend - and saying that if it's not going west already it'll never go west.... Thing is, most of them haven't actually plotted out a course where Alex goes west from where it is now.

Pple who are calling for a landfall anywhere up to Corpus area are in the forecast track area to begin with. I suppose Matagorda Bay isn't completely outside the realm of supposition if the highs don't build in quickly enough. But I think TX/LA border is more wishful thinking than anything else on this one.

However, we shall see what eventuates as the day progresses....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22359
Quoting hurricanehanna:
Question - is the ridge really going to be strong enough to curve Alex westward?


Will find out soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:


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


some adults act like big kids
the weirdos might not even be kids
Quoting Orcasystems:


NS


Nova Scotia?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
alex not looking so good, he ate to much. Now going for some mexican food in mexico.

Question - is the ridge really going to be strong enough to curve Alex westward?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting blueyedhrlyridr:
I wish Hurricane season was in the winter. So all these kids would have their butts in school instead of on here acting like fools


Cell phones have internet now, they'll still be on here. Thats how they're on September - November. Crazy aint it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
why such hate for people under 28?


Quoting AstroHurricane001:


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


NS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
598. tessa
I just found this on My-Cast radar from the National Weather Service:Tropical Storm
(Expires: Wednesday June 30 12:00AM CDT)

new information,
tropical storm warnings are now in effect, the watch has
been upgraded. the warning is for baffin bay to port o'connor.
a hurricane warning is in effect for south of baffin bay.

precautionary/preparedness actions,
precautionary/preparedness actions,

final preparations to protect life and property should be
completed before conditions deteriorate. the onset of gusty winds
and heavy rains is expected wednesday morning. rain and wind can
cause outside activities to become dangerous. secure loose
outdoor objects which can be blown around. if you live in a mobile
home, leave it for more substantial shelter.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


Downcaster
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Ex-94L:



"Move a step farther west, and Alex will absorb you!"

Can you believe that Alex weakened and absorbed category three Darby?!

In memorium...

lmfao!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JDSmith:


Look at the guy's name. It's enough to discredit anything he says.

But anyways, ridge is building in. The storm is firing decent nearly symmetrical convection over the COC. Looks like slow organization, and a gradual westward turn to me. Maybe cat 2 at landfall between Mexico and Mid way up the texas coast line.



He does pretty well on here. Gets a few dozen fish in his keep net every time he comes on. I've had him on ignore since last year, but it's amusing to see the bites he gets when he's quoted.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TXWorryWart:
Stalls are horrible. Allison was a nightmare.


I have a feeling that most of this storm's damage will end up being on land.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting blueyedhrlyridr:
I wish Hurricane season was in the winter. So all these kids would have their butts in school instead of on here acting like fools


they can still get on at school.
Quoting hurrkat05:
no swirl i disagree with you thats cat 2 pressure


What do you mean? I didn't just make that up out of thin air. the 965-980 isn't my opinion, it's the general rules for classifying storms based on pressure.

Cat 1 is greater than 980
Cat 2 is between 965 and 980
Cat 3 is between 945 and 965
cat 4 is between 920 and 945
Cat 5 is less than 920

And anyway these are just general guidelines. Storms can be more intense or less intense than their pressure readings indicate. In this case, Alex is much less intense than its pressure reading indicates.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Looks to me like Alex is changing course and heading more NW or even bending toward WNW.
I see that too..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jpsb:
Dropsonde, Alex took a long long time getting things together just before land fall in Belize. So it is not surprising at all that he is once again taking a long long time getting it all together again. He is an underachiever but he'll get there (cat 2+).
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I wish Hurricane season was in the winter. So all these kids would have their butts in school instead of on here acting like fools
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think it should be a requirement to post where you live before you make a track forecast of any kind on here, so we can discredit everything you say when you forecast it to come to your neck of the woods... Too many wish-casters.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


alex will follow this path and power. Erin
Quoting blueyedhrlyridr:
The NHC has been right on with this system. I do not understand why some people on here seem to think they can see something that the NHC doesnt. The NHC has a good fix on this system now and has it going in just south of Brownsville. So why in the world are people on here still saying its going to be a Tx/La storm. Are people just starved for attention


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. The only question is how much warning the effected areas will have. Each year the NHC seems to increase the amount of time we all have a general idea of where the storm will go, and how powerful it is. They do a great job.

What they don't do is make a prediction 10 days out, and stick to it not matter what. That would be more like gambling rather than saving lives and property.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WV FULL DISK:




Okay, I'm a newbie at deciphering WV imagery. Could anyone help me here?

The dry air north of Alex and the passing front is the ridge.

What is to the west of Alex? Just a huge mass of dry air? Or is that more ridging?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
one more stupid question then im done...at what point does a calm eye form in a hurricane? do cat 1's have them or do they start to form based on overall size, not strength?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ex-94L:



"Move a step farther west, and Alex will absorb you!"

Can you believe that Alex weakened and absorbed category three Darby?!

In memorium...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
578. Story
Well I don't know about you guys, but just looking at the sat pics this morning... it looks like the system over Texas that was pulling the moisture in and giving us rain is now going to see us with some bands from Alex. We have gone from 20-30% chance of rain to over 60%... it will be interesting indeed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Very close to hurricane strength:

29/0545 UTC 21.4N 91.7W T3.5/3.5
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
StormSurgeon, you are right, I should have known.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dropsonde:
Wilma had 901 mb and it was only a Category 4 at that point. Felix had 929 mb at Category 5. The size of the storm and the surrounding environment mean a great deal, and this... thing... is not nearly as impressive as the central pressure in isolation would suggest. It had incredible convection right over the center, gray on AVN IR, last night, but it couldn't keep it! I think that the previous GFDL and HWRF had the correct idea, that Alex was simply never going to pull it all together. Let's be realistic and look at the history of it.


I'll have to agree with you. Both 92L and Alex have been positioned in highly favorable environments and not been able to "take advantage" of it for long enough to behave as expected by the models and forecast on this blog. While there's been a higher than usual number of rare variables inhibiting development, one can not discount that this storm continues to defy both human and machine in its track, behavior and development.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormSurgeon:


Am I the only one that finds this vaguely familiar?


Look at the guy's name. It's enough to discredit anything he says.

But anyways, ridge is building in. The storm is firing decent nearly symmetrical convection over the COC. Looks like slow organization, and a gradual westward turn to me. Maybe cat 2 at landfall between Mexico and Mid way up the texas coast line.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
572. IKE
Quoting hurricanejunky:
Looks like it's moving right on tropical forecast points, which is NW.


After looking at the TFP, it does look right on track.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Neither can wishcasters thinking they know what their talking about. If This storm is tracking exactly how NHC has predicted. So why now all of a sudden are they so wrong
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
with the history of this storm winds have been a while to catch up to the pressure.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
alex is a june storm, they mostly don't get big.
people were hyping it up to be the next ike or katrina. Alex is slowly dying

he went from dolly 2.0
to erin 2.0

i bet alex hits as a depression.
Stalls are horrible. Allison was a nightmare.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormSurgeon:


Spot on! A human parasite is someone who thrives and profits from the misery and misfortune of others. There's nothing more refreshing than an insurance adjuster performing an adjustment on their own flattened home.
OK not to open a potential bag o' worms..... We Adjusters are the guys that show up after Mother Nature has let people know that no matter what... She rules.... Yes we profit from the misery of others, but our profit is from making sure that people that have sustained damage have the funds to repair or replace what has been damaged. SO Parasite??? I think not.... more like the guy that shows up to help and he brings the check book with him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurrkat05:
981mb is a cta 2 pressure not good


Cat 2 pressure is usually between 965 and 980
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like it's moving right on tropical forecast points, which is NW or maybe slightly north of northwest.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Possibly, but a Texas landfall is certainly in the playing cards today.


I am curious to see what the NHC does in response to the forward motion at the next advisory, I'm thinking a tad north.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 612 - 562

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

Top of Page

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.