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 divdog:
whats a shame is the outrageous statements you make without any support.


He's a troll dude. Let it go.

CybrTeddy, I couldn't agree with you more, it sure doesn't look like Alex is about to hang a hard left. I'm no met, just an observer tho...
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Quoting jeffs713:

Those flashlights are THE BEST ones for after a hurricane, actually. (this comes from post-Ike experience)


I'll add a hearty Amen to that. Was visiting my brother down in Tidewater area of Va when a storm cam through and knocked out the power. First thing he did was break out one of those headlamps for each of us. You can use both hands to do what you are about. Lasted long enough that he broke out his generator. That man is PREPAIRED after loosing power for almost a month.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting apocalyps:
its a shame NHC brings so many lives in danger with there false predictions


Ah, never mind. Have a good day. Smile!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Alex is suppose to make a sharp WNW turn today, it speeding up to 12 mph and moving nearly due north is not a good sign. You want a system to slow down to make a turn not speed up.
Yes, I wouldn't get too comfortable about the current projections.
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Quoting Patrap:
1145 UTC



looks like we're going to get wetter today than yesterday, Pat...
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Morning Guygee. Not til tomorrow, but I have to study today...First I get to go spend several hours in the dental chair though...What an exciting freakin day I have. Also have to write a paper.


Good luck SJ! Hopefully the day ends on a positive for you...
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Quoting apocalyps:
its a shame NHC brings so many lives in danger with there false predictions
whats a shame is the outrageous statements you make without any support.
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That northern band needs to either wither away or contract into the center of the storm for Alex to form any decent core.
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Quoting Patrap:


I just post um..

Never discount Climo and the Storms motion thru time.


As we get closer to a solution..the pkgs will cluster.

Right now..they aint.

And one has to be aware of that.



Amen!
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Alex is suppose to make a sharp WNW turn today, it speeding up to 12 mph and moving nearly due north is not a good sign. You want a system to slow down to make a turn not speed up.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Morning Guygee. Not til tomorrow, but I have to study today...First I get to go spend several hours in the dental chair though...What an exciting freakin day I have. Also have to write a paper.
Ouch, last time I was at the Dentist I had four hands in my mouth, get me outta here! So Dentist and Studying, eh, not the ideal combination. But all that Stats stuff is just common sense, right? : ~ \
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its a shame NHC brings so many lives in danger with there false predictions
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
i wounder if that ull will be come 95l of the cost of FL
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Quoting hurricane23:


Please stop these absolutely ridiculous posts. Its only a matter of time before the ridge pushes alex more NW, then W eventually. The current TPC forecast track looks about right.


Seriously, there are hurricane warnings in effect. Alex is NOT going to be far from the forecast track, if not, right on it. Landfall is Thursday morning at 1am with tropical conditions expected starting tomorrow afternoon, time is quickly running out. And now that Alex has sped up, it may be a little sooner.

...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS ALEX MOVING FASTER TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST...
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Quoting LittleSeaman:


Yes, thank you for the lexicon lesson. But, an extrapolation of what? Current steering conditions, past behavior of the system, etc.


Info I have seen previously, but do not have a link:


"The initial motion is typically computed with an averaging period over the previous 6, 12, 18, or possibly even 24 hours. An interval of 6 to 12 hours is best if known changes in the track are occurring (e.g., like recurvature), but a longer interval may be chosen if the center location is uncertain."
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Quoting primadonnagirl:
alex might not make his west turn


Why do you say that?
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Quoting txsweetpea:
I realize that the NHC says that Alex is going to Brownsville...but this is a huge storm and I am concerned and I am on the Tx/la border.The storm just looks HUGE.


it is

we already got tons of water and vodka

gotta prepare for the big one

even buy over 30 cans of food.
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Quoting Cochina:
I'm living in South Texas (Edinburg, anyone else in the valley?)

Anyway

I went to Walmart to buy more supplies this morning and the only flashlights left were the headlight flashlights (for hiking and such).


I work in Edinburg at a hospital, currently in disaster preparedness mode.
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Quoting guygee:
Hey Patrap - So only climo keeps it more north now. Battle of the models, winner looking like the Euro.
When will we catch up to them?


I just post um..

Never discount Climo and the Storms motion thru time.


As we get closer to a solution..the pkgs will cluster.

Right now..they aint.

And one has to be aware of that.

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Quoting StormJunkie:
12z Xtrap shows track shifting much further W...More of a NW motion now.

And all of the BAM 00z models show a S of Tx landfall.


I see a more NW movement too. Glad I'm not the only one seeing that...
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Quoting c150flyer:


We'll be heading down there early tomorrow morning. How do you guys avoid local law enforcement yelling at you? That's always the challenge I run into...




Press Credentials
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 563
Morning SJ - nice storms last evening. Looks like we'll do it again today once the seabreeze gets going.
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1760
Seas are too choppy to sweep, boom or capture oil, Dive/EMT Son sitting it out on the moored Tug Orion across from Fort Pickens State Park this AM. Seems to be a bit of confusion out there with Alex influencing the weather and clean-up. Diveson was disheartened last evening – the men feel the storm will undo any dent they made protecting coastal communities… says it’s futile, just futile at least the way things are working now
I don’t know what what we’re having with our coffee this morning……
corexist
oil
Alex
arvvvy pass the rum
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Good job NHC!
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
I realize that the NHC says that Alex is going to Brownsville...but this is a huge storm and I am concerned and I am on the Tx/la border.The storm just looks HUGE.
Member Since: June 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 546
Morning CT, good to see you. Did you check out the pics of our local monkeys?

Aqua, you were right, but then the new xtrap just got released in the last 20 min or so.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16505
Inbound again



AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting skkippboo:
The next worst thing is downed tree limbs and power outages. .

Skip


I'm in San Antonio and your post made me realize we need to trim some tree limbs before the storm hits.

Thanks!!
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alex might not make his west turn
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Hey all! Is there anything else that might develope in the next week or two? The NHC has done really well with this storm so far...don't ya think? ----oh, and we still need rain here in south florida please...
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Quoting LittleSeaman:


Yes, thank you for the lexicon lesson. But, an extrapolation of what? Current steering conditions, past behavior of the system, etc.
Current direction of movement.
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National Hurricane Survival Initiative
********************************************************
Before the Hurricane Season Begins
Develop a plan. Know your homes vulnerability to the threats above - surge, wind, and flooding. Check your supplies - water, batteries, food. For information on developing a Hurricane Supply kit, see our page on that topic. Know where you can evacuate to - friends, relatives, a hotel?

Know when to take action - Watch vs Warning
WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours.
WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours. Remember that there is no such thing as a "minor hurricane." Category 1 and 2 hurricanes still can do significant damage.

Prepare before a Watch or Warning is issued and be ready to evacuate when the Watch comes or earlier if so instructed.

An Approaching Storm
As a storm approaches, you should prepare your house and your yard. Some things to consider:

Turn down the temperature on your freezer and refrigerator as low as possible. This will buy you more time in the event of a power loss. 24 to 48 hours before will cool the food. Avoid opening them whenever possible. If you are evacuating.
Before you evacuate, call at least one person out of state to let them know your plans.
Ensure that your Hurricane Emergency Kit is fully stocked.
Charge electronic devices, for example, computers, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, razors, and the like.
Make extra ice, bag it - this will be useful to use and to keep the freezer cold.
If you have a generator, do NOT run it inside or near the house. But make sure you have fuel to run it.
Make sure your car has fuel.
Pick up yard debris - furniture, tools, decorative items, branches - anything loose that could become a missile. We have placed furniture in the pool upon occasion.
Secure boats, trailers, campers, RVs, and the like in the safest place you can find. Tie them down, anchor them, or however you can best secure them. But, take into account that there may be a storm surge.
Secure all doors and windows with locks, and shutters if available. Plywood, properly secured, can be effective. Don't forget your garage doors.
Move items that may be damaged by water to higher areas of your home if you can not take them with you if evacuating. Move them away from windows in case they are broken.
Huge items must even be secured in big storms. An engine block was found 40 or 50 feet up in a pine tree in the Homestead (actually Redlands) area after Andrew. Don't think that something is too big to be moved by the wind.
Re-check tie-downs.
Bring cars, bikes, scooters and anything like that into your garage if possible.
Bring in grills or other cooking items.
Bring in hoses, trash cans, hot tub covers, wind-chimes, plants.
Caulk and fill bathtubs - extra water comes in handy for toilets and more..
It may sound strange, but do your laundry, dishes, and take a shower. Why? Because if you lose power, having as much clean as possible will make a big difference.
Check if your pool pump should be on or off.
Close and fasten gates so they don't swing.
Close chimney flues.
Close/latch inside doors and cabinets.


If you have time, help your neighbors. Debris in their yards can easily impact your home and yard.

During a storm.


Stay inside, away from windows
Be alert for tornadoes
Stay away from flood waters and storm surge. It can be deceptively strong.
Be aware of the eye. It may be calm, but winds can and will pick up quickly and could catch you outside.
Un-plug electronic devices that are not in use to avoid surge damage.

After a Storm

Know power safety - avoid downed lines
Know food safety - what is good and for how long.
Chain saw safety is critical
Generator safety is important too
Water treatment - whether water needs to be boiled or not.
Listen to local officials
Use flashlights instead of candles
Inspect your home for damage.
Stay off roads as much as possible
You may need to super-chlorinate your pool

********************************************************
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
alex in size makes ike look like a baby

alex is just more pretty
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Hey Patrap - So only climo keeps it more north now. Battle of the models, winner looking like the Euro.
When will we catch up to them?
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Quoting guygee:
Morning SJ. I tend to agree, turning more WNW today. Thought you had a test today?


Morning Guygee. Not til tomorrow, but I have to study today...First I get to go spend several hours in the dental chair though...What an exciting freakin day I have. Also have to write a paper.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16505
GOM 60 Hour Wave Forecast (using WW3)
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374. MahFL
Alex is still north of the projected track.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3489
Quoting hurricane23:


Please stop these absolutely ridiculous posts. Its only a matter of time before the ridge pushes alex more NW, then W eventually. The current TPC forecast track looks about right.


That ridge cannot even push a rabbit in his hole.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Quoting Cochina:
I'm living in South Texas (Edinburg, anyone else in the valley?)

Anyway

I went to Walmart to buy more supplies this morning and the only flashlights left were the headlight flashlights (for hiking and such).

Those flashlights are THE BEST ones for after a hurricane, actually. (this comes from post-Ike experience)
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Quoting jeffs713:

movement over the past 12 hours.
Quoting StormJunkie:


Past behavior...If I'm not mistaken it is simply an extrapolation of the last two forecast points.
Quoting LightningCharmer:
Just simple heading or bearing from last observation depending on how you look at it. Experts here correct me if I'm wrong on this.

CLIPPER (CLP5) is the historic model.


Thanks!
Member Since: February 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
Looks like a big chunk of thunderstorms is separating from Alex heading north! Anyone think this may be a factor with the Gulf Oil rig or develop separately? They are already getting 20-25 mph there.
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Quoting c150flyer:


We'll be heading down there early tomorrow morning. How do you guys avoid local law enforcement yelling at you? That's always the challenge I run into...


"Stay Low and nimble"..

LOL
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368. 7544
look at that blob in the gulf where is it going did alex have a baby could it become 95l
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Quoting hurricane23:


Please stop these absolutely ridiculous posts. Its only a matter of time before the ridge pushes alex more NW, then W eventually. The current TPC forecast track looks about right.
leave them be 23 there lost bye
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting LittleSeaman:


Yes, thank you for the lexicon lesson. But, an extrapolation of what? Current steering conditions, past behavior of the system, etc.
Just simple heading or bearing from last observation depending on how you look at it. Experts here correct me if I'm wrong on this.

CLIPPER (CLP5) is the historic model.
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1314
Quoting LittleSeaman:


Yes, thank you for the lexicon lesson. But, an extrapolation of what? Current steering conditions, past behavior of the system, etc.


Past behavior...If I'm not mistaken it is simply an extrapolation of the last two forecast points.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16505
Quoting LittleSeaman:


Yes, thank you for the lexicon lesson. But, an extrapolation of what? Current steering conditions, past behavior of the system, etc.

movement over the past 12 hours.
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1145 UTC

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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
I just got off the phone with Oz. He's pulling out of Los Alamos in the next hour and heading for South Padre Island. It's a 16 hr drive.
The XTREME TEAM rides again!


We'll be heading down there early tomorrow morning. How do you guys avoid local law enforcement yelling at you? That's always the challenge I run into...
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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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