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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362. c150flyer
1:05 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
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...
Member Since: September 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 75
361. SubtropicalHi
1:05 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
I'm in San Antonio and I need to spend my day cleaning my yard, removing anything that could be hurled by high winds.


(Don't laugh, but I leave all sorts of stuff in my yard, because we normally don't get storms)
Member Since: June 27, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 377
360. nrtiwlnvragn
1:04 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Current direction is 330


...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 22.5N LONCUR = 92.7W DIRCUR = 330DEG SPDCUR = 10KT
LATM12 = 20.7N LONM12 = 91.6W DIRM12 = 355DEG SPDM12 = 6KT
LATM24 = 20.1N LONM24 = 91.6W
WNDCUR = 60KT RMAXWD = 20NM WNDM12 = 55KT
CENPRS = 983MB OUTPRS = 1006MB OUTRAD = 250NM SDEPTH = D
RD34NE = 120NM RD34SE = 90NM RD34SW = 40NM RD34NW = 50NM
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11467
359. Cochina
1:04 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
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).
358. hurricane23
1:04 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting RecordSeason:
Busted NHC forecast. There is no ridge.


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.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13846
357. apocalyps
1:04 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Still going northwest,already way more north then predicted by NHC.And also stronger as predicted by NHC.I think markets may not know the real strenght and track
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
356. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:03 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Re: 342...


Pure stupid.


Na just a case of the tinfoil hat pinching too hard on a cranial pressure point.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
355. LittleSeaman
1:03 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting LightningCharmer:


XTRAP -> Extrapolation


Yes, thank you for the lexicon lesson. But, an extrapolation of what? Current steering conditions, past behavior of the system, etc.
Member Since: February 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
354. Patrap
1:02 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Alex
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)



Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



Early Model Wind Forecasts



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130852
353. guygee
1:01 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting StormJunkie:
Morning all.

Anyone have the 00z BAM models? Or the latest Xtrap?

I'm with you Dewey, I think Alex has finally started that more westward motion and will end up S of the Tx/Mx border.
Morning SJ. I tend to agree, turning more WNW today. Thought you had a test today?
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3236
352. LightningCharmer
1:01 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting TampaWeatherBuff:


And yet, even the bare naked swirl of the Invest Formerly Known As 94L is heading almost due West, and Alex has not intimated even a desire to head east.

Methinks you have watched The Matrix one too many times ("there is no spoon")...


Are you refering to the ULL just east of the Bahamas or the swirl around 61W 25N?

By the way, LOL on the East Anglia comment.
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
351. aquak9
12:59 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
like I said SJ, I'm blind outta one eye and can't see outta the other! :)

west is good. Probably was an old xtrap I was looking at anyways, can't see the time stamp, hahaha...

go west young man
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 189 Comments: 27121
You know, when you get right down to it, all models are extrapolations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Outer rain bands coming close to shore.

oops,guess i haven't figured out yet how to post a radar loop

This time I really gotta go. Maybe somebody with time and know how can post the radar loop from Brownsville.
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Quoting apocalyps:
NHC is scared to upset the markets.
The intensity(forecast) is wrong and they are very,very,very,very carefull with there track forecast.Trying to tell the markets it will stay south.
I think they will not get lucky and will have to make a big shift to the east next time and make a big jump with the intensity of Alex.


The doomcasting never ends does it. What makes you think you know more than NHC? Just an innocent question.
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1808
Re: 342...


Pure stupid.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 760
Quoting aquak9:


that's not ketchup it's salsa

sj- xtrap is like 010, but looks dead north to the half blind, like me


Morning Aqua, good to see you :)

It's not 010 anymore...Which is what I expected. It has made considerable westward progress since it's motion last night.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16875
Baha this thing appeared to have injested some dry sinking air to its NW. Recon is reporting a partial eyewall on the latest vortex.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13846
oh wow- hi IMA! good to see so many old names...ok not good, but you know what I mean.

all we're missing is poptarts and twinkies.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 189 Comments: 27121
Quoting LittleSeaman:
Quoting Dustin Jeff - p.s. I know that "xtrp is not a model."

What is it then?

ps - I'm a long-time lurker just addicted to this stuff...love reading the posts and learning.

Thanks!


XTRAP -> Extrapolation
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
NHC is scared to upset the markets.
The intensity(forecast) is wrong and they are very,very,very,very carefull with there track forecast.Trying to tell the markets it will stay south.
I think they will not get lucky and will have to make a big shift to the east next time and make a big jump with the intensity of Alex.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Good morning all

One observation for now. Alex has been accelerating to the NNW which means momentum building in that direction.

The weakness over TX and LA is still there which is obviously what is now drawing him faster in that direction. Given the size of Alex a quick change in track is not likely. It appears to be headed further N than forecasted IMO.
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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.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16875
339. IKE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RecordSeason:
There is no Ridge


And yet, even the bare naked swirl of the Invest Formerly Known As 94L is heading almost due West, and Alex has not intimated even a desire to head east.

Methinks you have watched The Matrix one too many times ("there is no spoon")...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
337. IMA
Quoting aquak9:


that's not ketchup it's salsa

Good one, aqua - and great to see you!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Impressive visible satellite imagery right now of Alex. Great outflow seen on the eastern side of the COC, in terms of the cirrus clouds looking like Hurricane Ike when he rapidly intensified the second time making landfall on Galveston, TX in 2008. The cirrus are just flowing off the top of the storm. I will go out on a limb and say hurricane Alex at 11am EDT update. Hot tower exploding and expanding over the COC. Spiral banding is improving on the western side of the COC, we just need convection to expand and develop on the western side.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I guess they were based on the ground-breaking "hide" the [decline|incline] statistical methods pioneered by East Anglia. ;)



Heheheheheheheheheh!!!!
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 760
Quoting Dustin Jeff - p.s. I know that "xtrp is not a model."

What is it then?

ps - I'm a long-time lurker just addicted to this stuff...love reading the posts and learning.

Thanks!
Member Since: February 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
Link

What I love about this page is that the pink forcast line still points to the same landfall spot eventhough the end attached to Alex keeps going north. By the way, is that big blob of convection on the north, heading to the north, or is it suppose to start moving west as well???

Thanks everyone :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormSurgeon:


...with a little ketchup splashed in...


that's not ketchup it's salsa

sj- xtrap is like 010, but looks dead north to the half blind, like me
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 189 Comments: 27121
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 183 Comments: 57315
Quoting DestinJeff:
Keep an eye on XTRP. It will still be NNW at the 12Z, which means the angle is quite large at the axis of it and the ofcl track.

this has been the case now over the last day or more ... that angle needs to be much smaller to validate short-term forecast. and if it continues to be large, then you could expect a significant eventual landfall point right of the current expectation.

p.s. I know that "xtrp is not a model."



Whoa, I see all the models took another shift southwards. And these should have the G4 data right? So this should be the final model consolidation. Just woke up, sry if I'm all wrong.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
329. IKE
Not trying to scare anyone but Alex is a large system....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLdewey:


LOL... I hope he has his papers.


I thought he was a drinking man, not a pothead.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting IMA:


LOL - Maybe those of us who are aware of this should just include that in any post in which we mention the xtrp
Yes.The xtrp is not a model...jk Good morning Ima.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RecordSeason:
Busted NHC forecast. There is no ridge.


I agree,if Alex turns West NHC will be very lucky but nothing is out there to push Alex West.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Quoting hydrus:
Eye? It looks like a quivering mass of white olives...jk..Good Morning Baha..Nice looking upper low near you.


...with a little ketchup splashed in...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning all.

Anyone have the 00z BAM models? Or the latest Xtrap?

I'm with you Dewey, I think Alex has finally started that more westward motion and will end up S of the Tx/Mx border.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16875
322. MahFL
Convection exploding over the center right now..........
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3988
Quoting BahaHurican:
Morning, Doug. I was just about to ask abt this. Last time Oz did Brownsville (well it was really port Isabel lol) he got some pretty good video of Dolly...

Keep us posted on live streaming etc....




I'll be in and out today with Oz updates from time to time. It is our goal to LIVE STREAM the the eye landfall, if possible. www.xtremestormjunkies.com
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 760
Quoting FLdewey:
Alex doesn't always drink beer.... but when he does... he prefers Dos Equis.

Heading to Mexico just South of US.


He's a tough hombre. He is wise to head for the border with Texas and not Arizona, though. ;)
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319. IMA
Quoting DestinJeff:
p.s. I know that "xtrp is not a model."


LOL - Maybe those of us who are aware of this should just include that in any post in which we mention the xtrp
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 183 Comments: 57315
Quoting RecordSeason:
For everyone who says the high is going to push it west...

1) If the high was so strong, why is it that the feeder band that got broken off in the northern Gulf is moving to the east? It should be moving west if your reasoning were correct, particularly since Alex cyclonic flow should have pulled it west anyway. It isn't moving west though, it's moving ENE directly into your supposed ridge.

2) My barometer normally agrees closely with the NWS, but yesterday and today is remains several mb below their official numbers.

3) A 1012mb and 1014mb isobar is not a "high" anyway. That is neutral at best. There isn't even a 1016mb isobar anywhere within 1000 miles of Alex...

There is no Ridge

There is no Ridge 2


Based on your information where do you think Alex is going to make landfall, I am kinda confused at this point.
Member Since: June 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 546
Convection flaring up again.
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313. IKE
Quoting BahaHurican:
Anybody see an eye on here?



I see it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.

I guess they were based on the ground-breaking "hide" the [decline|incline] statistical methods pioneered by East Anglia. ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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