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 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.
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remember the days when we would just chart the lat/lon on a tracking chart from a weatherman on tv, then run when necessary? It was so less stressful....
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
560. 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+).
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559. IKE
Looks to me like Alex is changing course and heading more NW or even bending toward WNW.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
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.
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Also whenever we see the lowest pressures it appears the winds drop off quickly to 18 knots.. once pressures rise it goes back up to Tropical Storm strength. Developing eye.
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Quoting apocalyps:


Its happening already.
Everything points out to a CAT3-4 landfall between Texas and Louisiana


Am I the only one that finds this vaguely familiar?
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Quoting apocalyps:


Its happening already.
Everything points out to a CAT3-4 landfall between Texas and Louisiana
Except what the experts are saying.
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Quoting UpperLevelLOL:


Yes but are the winds following the pressure?


Strongest they found in that set was 50 mph
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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


storms can't be trusted
Quoting UpperLevelLOL:
So the farther north Alex goes, not only the more people he threatens, but also the more time he has to strengthen, is that correct?

North of Brownsville 60-80 miles would be better as far as missing most of the population. (But bad for anyone with a nice field of cotton.)

A near Brownsville hit is very bad because it will go right up the Rio Grande Valley, which is a very flat and fairly populated area. There will be very serious flooding with that scenario.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
981.9 mb
(~ 29.00 inHg)


Yes but are the winds following the pressure?
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i got all my bags pack, ready for the big one.
Quoting muddertracker:
Can't argue with that. I'm thinking strong Cat-1, possible 2, and I don't see him getting north of the mouth of the Rio..imo..you?


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


I'm not sure a few would believe the NHC track when it was inland over Mexico.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
That dry slot is definitely stubborn. Still dealing with dry air intrusion it seems. May be why it's not intensifying more steadily.
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981.9 mb
(~ 29.00 inHg)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Ingested some dry air, currently firing off some strong convection over the COC so we'll see what happens. Alex will likely become a Hurricane today.
Can't argue with that. I'm thinking strong Cat-1, possible 2, and I don't see him getting north of the mouth of the Rio..imo..you?
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Quoting AllStar17:
981.9 just reported.


Cat 1 pressure, could also take a little while for the winds to catch up with the pressure decrease.
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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
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When can we expect Jeff's new blog?
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Information About Radiosonde:
- Launch Time: 13:30Z
- 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: 22.52N 92.88W
Splash Time: 13:32Z

Release Location: 22.52N 92.88W
Release Time: 13:30:40Z

Splash Location: 22.52N 92.89W
Splash Time: 13:31:38Z
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538. IKE
Quoting Tropicaddict:


LOL...Ike, will you pick up some for me too?!?!?!


LOL...share and share alike.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting btwntx08:

unlikely


Unlikely is that Alex suddenly should turn west without any reason.Just a few fairytailers at the NHC telling that story.
A NNE motion during a periode of 6-12 hours is more likely once Alex has become a strong CAT1
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981.9 just reported.
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535. IKE
Quoting galvestonhurricane:
IKE:

Do you honestly think there is any chance that this could come here?


Squally weather...beyond that the chances look unlikely.

Trust the NHC. They've done everything they can to get the track right.

I'm no expert, but that's my opinion. Looks like a northern Mexico landfall is the most likely.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting muddertracker:
Good morning y'all. Well, Alex didn't explode last night and he's not moving NE...well..will wonders never cease..lol. He's still having trouble with his west side, huh?


Ingested some dry air, currently firing off some strong convection over the COC so we'll see what happens. Alex will likely become a Hurricane today.
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looks like he is starting to get a good out flow. I think we will see when their is a few more visible frames.

ps good morning all
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Quoting IKE:



*heads to Wal-Mart pharmacy to pick up valium*


LOL...Ike, will you pick up some for me too?!?!?!
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Good morning y'all. Well, Alex didn't explode last night and he's not moving NE...well..will wonders never cease..lol. He's still having trouble with his west side, huh?
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Texas Lousiana land fall jmo
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IKE:

Do you honestly think there is any chance that this could come here?
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Quoting Dropsonde:
This thing once again looks pathetic on satellite. Every bit of progress that it appeared to make last night in filling in its circulation has been squandered, and even the huge dry slot hasn't been eliminated. I for one have had enough of this sad system. Ever since it was 93L, it steadfastly refused to take advantage of good conditions. Its most impressive moment was right as it was making landfall, for crying out loud. I have serious doubts that it will make second landfall AT ALL except as a disorganized blob. Alex has been all about persistence, and sustained intensification has not been part of that. Anyone who made a persistence forecast for Alex the past week would've done much better than model chasers.

At this point I don't care if it goes north, northwest, due west, or spins itself out in this same spot until all the fuel is gone (and if it doesn't get moving faster than a human being's jogging pace, that is what will happen). I'm just sick of it.


Do you feel better now?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Recon just found 982.5 mb in Alex.


OMG!!!
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Quoting IKE:



*heads to Wal-Mart pharmacy to pick up valium*

share please
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Quoting dsenecal2009:


..........


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.
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So the farther north Alex goes, not only the more people he threatens, but also the more time he has to strengthen, is that correct?
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


There are no 80 mph winds
There is no conspiracy.
This storm is not heading towards FL as a CAT5
That's just the way it is.


LOL..

the Pattern is not full

Tower pass approved Ghostrider..
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29/18Z is the next forecast point, it's right on track and looks like it will be there before 18Z, maybe a couple hours. This could slide up the coast a bit more in response to the quicker forward motion but, nothing north of Brownsville, IMO.
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Quoting extreme236:
000
URNT15 KNHC 291332
AF306 0801A ALEX HDOB 30 20100629
132300 2221N 09245W 8426 01386 9866 +196 +190 224040 040 039 007 00
132330 2222N 09246W 8427 01376 9858 +197 +192 225039 041 041 006 00
132400 2223N 09248W 8433 01364 9845 +205 +194 228032 036 039 006 00
132430 2224N 09249W 8429 01363 9838 +206 +195 235023 027 035 004 03
132500 2226N 09250W 8432 01355 9833 +206 +197 235017 018 026 005 00
132530 2227N 09251W 8428 01356 9831 +203 +199 236011 013 022 004 00
132600 2228N 09252W 8433 01347 9827 +205 +200 263006 007 016 004 00
132630 2229N 09253W 8429 01349 9825 +202 +201 310005 006 018 004 00
132700 2231N 09255W 8426 01350 9825 +200 +200 015010 012 016 004 00
132730 2232N 09256W 8431 01348 9825 +205 +202 021017 019 020 004 03
132800 2232N 09257W 8424 01360 9829 +207 +202 013022 024 999 999 03
132830 2231N 09259W 8429 01359 9832 +208 +204 360025 026 999 999 03
132900 2229N 09258W 8428 01359 9831 +209 +207 349022 023 999 999 03
132930 2229N 09256W 8429 01354 9827 +206 +206 339016 018 014 005 03
133000 2230N 09255W 8434 01344 9826 +201 +201 346006 010 009 005 03
133030 2231N 09253W 8425 01350 9825 +201 +201 147002 005 017 004 00
133100 2231N 09252W 8432 01347 9826 +202 +202 153011 013 017 003 03
133130 2233N 09251W 8429 01353 9829 +200 +200 138017 018 999 999 03
133200 2234N 09252W 8430 01348 9826 +200 +200 115016 017 017 005 03
133230 2234N 09254W 8431 01344 9821 +206 +202 087014 015 019 004 00
$$
;


Down yet another millibar
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518. IKE
Quoting Dropsonde:
This thing once again looks pathetic on satellite. Every bit of progress that it appeared to make last night in filling in its circulation has been squandered, and even the huge dry slot hasn't been eliminated. I for one have had enough of this sad system. Ever since it was 93L, it steadfastly refused to take advantage of good conditions. Its most impressive moment was right as it was making landfall, for crying out loud. I have serious doubts that it will make second landfall AT ALL except as a disorganized blob. Alex has been all about persistence, and sustained intensification has not been part of that. Anyone who made a persistence forecast for Alex the past week would've done much better than model chasers.

At this point I don't care if it goes north, northwest, due west, or spins itself out in this same spot until all the fuel is gone (and if it doesn't get moving faster than a human being's jogging pace, that is what will happen). I'm just sick of it.



*heads to Wal-Mart pharmacy to pick up valium*
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
000
URNT15 KNHC 291332
AF306 0801A ALEX HDOB 30 20100629
132300 2221N 09245W 8426 01386 9866 +196 +190 224040 040 039 007 00
132330 2222N 09246W 8427 01376 9858 +197 +192 225039 041 041 006 00
132400 2223N 09248W 8433 01364 9845 +205 +194 228032 036 039 006 00
132430 2224N 09249W 8429 01363 9838 +206 +195 235023 027 035 004 03
132500 2226N 09250W 8432 01355 9833 +206 +197 235017 018 026 005 00
132530 2227N 09251W 8428 01356 9831 +203 +199 236011 013 022 004 00
132600 2228N 09252W 8433 01347 9827 +205 +200 263006 007 016 004 00
132630 2229N 09253W 8429 01349 9825 +202 +201 310005 006 018 004 00
132700 2231N 09255W 8426 01350 9825 +200 +200 015010 012 016 004 00
132730 2232N 09256W 8431 01348 9825 +205 +202 021017 019 020 004 03
132800 2232N 09257W 8424 01360 9829 +207 +202 013022 024 999 999 03
132830 2231N 09259W 8429 01359 9832 +208 +204 360025 026 999 999 03
132900 2229N 09258W 8428 01359 9831 +209 +207 349022 023 999 999 03
132930 2229N 09256W 8429 01354 9827 +206 +206 339016 018 014 005 03
133000 2230N 09255W 8434 01344 9826 +201 +201 346006 010 009 005 03
133030 2231N 09253W 8425 01350 9825 +201 +201 147002 005 017 004 00
133100 2231N 09252W 8432 01347 9826 +202 +202 153011 013 017 003 03
133130 2233N 09251W 8429 01353 9829 +200 +200 138017 018 999 999 03
133200 2234N 09252W 8430 01348 9826 +200 +200 115016 017 017 005 03
133230 2234N 09254W 8431 01344 9821 +206 +202 087014 015 019 004 00
$$
;
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Quoting apocalyps:


Ofcourse its a hurricane.At least 80Mph winds.
They are lowering it down for the markets.


There are no 80 mph winds
There is no conspiracy.
This storm is not heading towards FL as a CAT5
That's just the way it is.
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1225 UTC showing the Depressed Center..

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514. jpsb
Quoting hurrkat05:
alex is on a steady nnw heading right now no nw moment at present..it continues to pick up speed though i say now nnw at 14mph..
nnw and gaining speed? Alex seems to like nnw.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Convection really flaring in Alex atm.



Just waiting for an eye to become visible.
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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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