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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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. ;)
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Quoting LightningCharmer:


Stay Safe, and collect some good data, images and stories.



Thanx for the well wishes. I'll pass 'em on to CycloneOZ. It's all about getting the video!
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 551
Quoting BahaHurican:
Anybody see an eye on here?

Eye? It looks like a quivering mass of white olives...jk..Good Morning Baha..Nice looking upper low near you.
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307. IMA
Good morning, y'all! Thought I'd share the discussion for the San Antonio area. We have had a wet few months (thank God, we were desperate) and got 9/10" here last night. We could definitely be in for some flooding, not that it takes much around here.

By daytime Wednesday...increased precipitable water values of around 2.5 inches will surge into central Texas to promote broad areas of lift deep into central Texas. The forecast track from the TPC continues to pinpoint a landfall south of Brownsville. The large system could strengthen rapidly and increase subsidence over the area Wednesday into early Thursday...but the broad area of very high precipitable water values would suggest still likely probability of precipitation...but perhaps less quantitative precipitation forecast until Thursday night. Any shifting of track to the north could mean a core rain event Thursday night/Friday morning. Given the current forecast track...significant wind potential should only be a concern for the few southwestern counties of the Rio Grande plains late Thursday night...and only a slight hint of core rains over our SW counties. The current forecast track could also be close enough to promote a few funnel clouds Thursday through early Friday...mainly S/SW of San Antonio.

By midday Friday...the forecast track and model consensus implies decreasing influences of Alex...but still with high chances for rain due to the large volume of moisture in the region. A sharp upper ridge is forecast to shift into the Midwest with unsettle and moist air feeding along the northern Gulf into Texas. Thus even if Alex maintains a more westerly track...the potential for rain
and cumulative run-off problems exist into the weekend.
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Ik verwacht dat Alex op orkaansterkte zal zijn.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Take care, Skip.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Anybody see an eye on here?


The latest Vortex message from about an hour ago stated:
RADAR SHOWS PARTIAL EYEWALL NE AND MULTIPLE THIN SPIRAL BANDS

The HH are about to make another pass through the center so we can see just how fast Alex is developing.
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The worst thing about a storm like Alex hitting near Brownsville is the large amounts of rain. Our area here is pretty flat, some places with poor drainage. We have some pretty deep drainage ditches that can handle at least 10 inches or so in a short time, but the problem is that the water takes forever to get to the ditches. Oh, the skeeters are horrible after a big rain.

The next worst thing is downed tree limbs and power outages. A day or two without power and NO A.C., yuck, it hot here.

I work at an ice supply company and we have to get on the job as soon as the power is back on. And no, we don't gouge the folks.

Anyway, gotta go make final preps, wish us luck and hope for this thing to pick up forward speed so that the rain doesn't accumulate too much. Out till later.

Skip
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


No, these posts are automatically generated by the wonderblog servers.


here's your sign :)
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Quoting apocalyps:
I see dry humor in Alex.Fooling the tracks


I think it's rather wet humor. snicker
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting StormSurgeon:


No, these posts are automatically generated by the wonderblog servers.


zing!
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 252
Quoting ajcamsmom2:
Okay, so, our local Met just said that Alex may be heading a little south of the projected path...Did I hear him wrong??? NNW means South, wow, I just don't get it...What does he see that will be pushing Alex South????

If Alex continues on a westerly track then it would hit the coast further to the south, it isn't going to move south just potentially hit the coast south of where was predicted.
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Quoting help4u:
ANYONE HERE?


No, these posts are automatically generated by the wonderblog servers.
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hydrus- thank you!!! love their music.

Just waiting on Lefty to show up, then I'm moving to Wisconson.
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Quoting ajcamsmom2:
Okay, so, our local Met just said that Alex may be heading a little south of the projected path...Did I hear him wrong??? NNW means South, wow, I just don't get it...What does he see that will be pushing Alex South????


a pinguin?
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Anybody see an eye on here?

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293. IKE
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Okay, so, our local Met just said that Alex may be heading a little south of the projected path...Did I hear him wrong??? NNW means South, wow, I just don't get it...What does he see that will be pushing Alex South????
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Alex ziet er momenteel niet zo indrukwekkend uit.Wel in grootte doch niet in sterkte.
Alex zal het moeilijk krijgen om zich volop te organiseren maar toch kan hij een serieuze bedreiging vormen.
Hij kan zich gemakkelijk een stuk noordelijker bewegen dan de NHC op dit moment voorspelt.
Hij zou op zijn beurt dan ook een stuk sterker kunnen worden.Cat 2 zelfs CAT 3 lijkt me niet uitgesloten.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Hmmmm.... Alex is currently 121nm from Kingsville and 138nm from Corpus....
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Quoting aquak9:
does anyone ever actually read? or just spout off?

I said it HAD ENTRAINED A LITTLE dry air. That was late sunday, maybe early monday.

NO MORE DRY AIR AT THE PRESENT TIME.

it was just enough to thwart things for a few hours.

Although I do find the chest-thumping testosterone-induced gorillas to be quite amusing...keep it up. :)
Link Some more Gorillaz for you:)
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Quoting apocalyps:


Agreed,but i am dutch and sometimes using the wrong worths.


Go Dutch!
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


What? High pressure ridges repel tropical systems, they don't pull them.


Agreed,but i am dutch and sometimes using the wrong worths.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Although I do find the chest-thumping testosterone-induced gorillas to be quite amusing...keep it up. :)

you've come to the right place Aqua :)

lol
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ANYONE HERE?
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Quoting aquak9:
does anyone ever actually read? or just spout off?

I said it HAD ENTRAINED A LITTLE dry air. That was late sunday, maybe early monday.

NO MORE DRY AIR AT THE PRESENT TIME.

it was just enough to thwart things for a few hours.

Although I do find the chest-thumping testosterone-induced gorillas to be quite amusing...keep it up. :)


ROFLMAO, Aqua. Can't imagine what it will be like around her once the CV systems begin!
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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!
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....
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Quoting LightningCharmer:
Scary Names!?


Hurricane Gaston, oooohhh that one sends shivers up my spine....LOL
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The blog is moving at a much manageable pace this morning, thankfully. For all those of you providing valuable insight, THANK YOU!!
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 252
Quoting primadonnagirl:
the monsters will be igor, earl, lisa, karl and gaston

i bet 1000 on it.
Scary Names!?
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Alex Inundation from the 5AM advisory




Click on image to view original size in a new window



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Quoting apocalyps:
That ridge to the North could pull Alex NNE for a while before going NW


What? High pressure ridges repel tropical systems, they don't pull them.
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the monsters will be igor, earl, lisa, karl and gaston

i bet 1000 on it.
Got to go, be back later.
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Quoting help4u:
With Alex speeding up to the northwest,this would change the track farther north?correct?
No he is doing exactly what he should be doing, basically he's right on track.
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Quoting WildHorseDesertTx:

Last, what are everyone's thoughts on the actual landfall...models are mostly showing slightly south of Brownsville...does everyone pretty much agree, looking at the info that's available?
Boz
I keep thinking that a landfall about 50 miles south or north of current forecast would be considerably better than current forecast. That location brings worst of the the rain / surge into a more populated area of both Texas and Tamualipas (I'm thinking Matamoros / Reynosa area). Further south the worst would fall into the relatively unpopulated area north of La Pesca. Further north it would impact the Kingsville area, which is more farming land than urban development.

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Next AOI:

...TROPICAL WAVES...

TROPICAL WAVE IS FROM 06N-19N ALONG 18W MOVING W AT 10-15 KT. THE WAVE COINCIDES WITH A MAXIMUM OF TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER VALUES EMERGING OFF THE COAST OF W AFRICA. GLOBAL MODEL GUIDANCE ALSO INDICATES A BROAD AREA OF LOW-LEVEL RELATIVE VORTICITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE WAVE FROM 08N-16N BETWEEN 14W-30W. SCATTERED MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION IS FROM 06N-13N BETWEEN 15W-24W.

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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!


Stay Safe, and collect some good data, images and stories.
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With Alex speeding up to the northwest,this would change the track farther north?correct?
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im gonna go to bed now.

goodnight everyone
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That ridge to the North could pull Alex NNE for a while before going NW
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
Quoting Or4590:


Alex will make landfall around the border imo. just south of it.
I'm going with Brownsville, Texas which is just north of the border.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yes current motion is towards the NNW, but Alex no longer can go straight northwards into Louisiana as the ridge to the north built back in and literally "ate" the weakness. Alex can now move WNW/NW until he goes further north and begin to "recurve" towards the coast.


Alex will make landfall around the border imo. just south of it.
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Quoting Snowlover123:


Hi Chicklit, Alex will have another 6-12 hours of NNW, before he goes WNW/NW, according to the NHC discussion.

That's from 4 a.m.
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I see dry humor in Alex.Fooling the tracks
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960

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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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