Alex Becomes a Hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:57 AM GMT on June 30, 2010

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Hi, Dr. Rob Carver filling in for Jeff on the late shift.

430AM EDT Update
The 400AM EDT advisory package has hit the wires. Alex' center of circulation is located at 23.3N, 95.1W, which is 175 miles east of La Pesca, MX and 235 miles southeast of Brownsville, TX. Alex is responding to a weakness in the ridge to it's north, the storm motion has shifted to WNW at 7 mph. The winds are unchanged from the 100AM advisory, they are still 80 mph. However, Alex continues to deepen it's pressure, the minimum central pressure is 961 mb. Hurricane force winds now extend to 30 miles away from the center, and tropical force winds extend to 200 miles from the center. Alex is currently over warm ocean waters and under weak vertical shear, so the winds are forecast to increase. However, given the strength of Alex's central pressure, there is a small possibility of a rapid intensification of an additional 35 mph.

I haven't changed my risk assessment with this advisory. Flooding from rain still remains the greatest hazard posed by Alex. Tropical storm force winds are expected to reach the coast later this morning. People should plan on finishing their outdoor preparations by this time.

150 AM Update As of the 100AM EDT advisory, Alex is at 23.1N, 94.8W. The minimum central pressure is 972 mb, and the winds have increased to 80 mph. Alex is slowly moving westwards at 5 mph in an "erratic" fashion.

As of the 11PM EDT advisory, NHC has upgraded Alex to a hurricane with maximum winds of 75 mph and a minimum central pressure of 973 mb. Alex's center is at 23.1N, 94.8W, which is 255 miles south of Brownsville, TX and 195 miles east-southeast of La Pesca, MX. Alex is moving westwards at 9 mph. Alex is expected to slightly alter it's course to the WNW before making landfall south of the Rio Grande. The winds are also forecast to pick up to 90 mph before landfall. In any event, mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for recreational vehicles and other high-profile vehicles in county parks on South Padre Island. A voluntary evacuation is in place for residents of South Padre Island and Port Isabel.

Threat from storm surge
NHC is forecasting a 3-5 foot storm surge north of the eye as Alex makes landfall.

Threat from wind
NWS forecasters expect that damage from Alex's winds will be limited to the southern counties of Cameron, Willacy, and Hidalgo. Hurricane force winds extend 15 miles from the storm center, but tropical storm force winds extend 175 miles from the center. This is a rather large circulation. The Storm Prediction Center is monitoring southern Texas for the threat of tornadoes in the outer rainbands as Alex makes landfall. I'd expect a tornado watch to be issued around noon CDT.

Threat from rain
This is the most significant impact from Alex. Rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches are expected over northern Mexico/southern Texas with 20 inches possible in some locations. There will be flooding from this storm. If more than 5 inches fall in 6 hours, there will likely be flash flooding. The NWS office in Brownsville is advising people who were flooded out by Dolly in 2008 to evacuate to higher ground now.


Satellite-derived rainfall estimates for Alex's passage over the Yucatan peninsula on June 28, 2010. Data provided by the Climate Prediction Center.

Alex is the first Atlantic June hurricane since 1995's Allison. The storm tally for that season was 19 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes. It will be interesting to see how this season compares to 1995.

Next update
I'll have an update Wednesday evening/night. Jeff will have an update sometime tomorrow morning.

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1141. xcool
bye
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
South side of the storm i s really loaded....
Maybe we will get a swell back in west Fl.

The 057 shows WSW at 15.1 ft. YEA!!!
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Cya Scott.
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1138. xcool
back in 4 hr
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Link

You can clearly see Alex moving NW in the past couple frames here.
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Recon and radar
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It's hard to believe Alex is not stronger than the initial intensity. The SAT presentations are just amazing.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1134. Hhunter
weird
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1133. bassis
Morning Storm, Morning all. Just got here to look at pics and check up on him before off to work
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Quoting StormW:


Good morning!


Good morning storm! Caught you on BB show excellent I think you should have your own show! :D
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Hey Storm I know Alex is big and all, but if the Hurricane Hunters can't find hurricane force windspeeds, yet the storm has a pressure of a Cat 3 something must be wrong right? I know winds will take time to catch up, but not even hurricane force winds? It just doesn't make sense to me, hopefully you can enlighten me on this to a relatively new blogger.
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1129. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Interesting little area just west of 35W.
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4mph @ 295
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1126. xcool
hmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1125. xcool
huh 67
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
I calculate 4mph, give or take.
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 30th day of the month at 10:42Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number & Year: 01L in 2010
Storm Name: Alex (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 11
Observation Number: 10
A. Time of Center Fix: 30th day of the month at 10:27:00Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 2322'N 9507'W (23.3667N 95.1167W)
B. Center Fix Location: 232 miles (373 km) to the SE (140) from Brownsville, TX, USA.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,063m (3,488ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 58kts (~ 66.7mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 13 nautical miles (15 statute miles) to the SE (138) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 208 at 67kts (From the SSW at ~ 77.1mph
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 74 nautical miles (85 statute miles) to the SE (135) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 959mb (28.32 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 16C (61F) at a pressure alt. of 1,521m (4,990ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 22C (72F) at a pressure alt. of 1,522m (4,993ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 18C (64F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open in the northeast
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 10 nautical miles (12 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 82kts (~ 94.4mph) in the northeast quadrant at 8:33:40Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 72kts (~ 82.9mph) in the northwest quadrant at 10:29:40Z

Only 67 mph? This is just unbelievable.
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Alex has the pressure of a Category 3 and they still can't find any hurricane force winds? I know he's big and all, but damn this doesn't make much sense.
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1121. breald
It looks like this thing is going to come in a little further south than the last time I looked. NHC is pretty good at getting the point of contact right.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

ex 94L, a circulation seems to head your way ...


I see and whoa it smells outside a lot like beach.
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Quoting jaevortex:
Well good morning it's raining cats and dogs in miami lol

ex 94L, a circulation seems to head your way ...
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1118. Hhunter
they just are not seeing the wind yet
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1117. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1116. IKE
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1115. Hhunter
10:27:00Z 23.367N 95.117W 842.2 mb
(~ 24.87 inHg) 1,140 meters
(~ 3,740 feet) 959.0 mb
(~ 28.32 inHg) - From 238° at 4 knots
(From the WSW at ~ 4.6 mph) 21.0°C
(~ 69.8°F) 18.1°C
(~ 64.6°F) 8 knots
(~ 9.2 mph) 1 knots*
(~ 1.1 mph*) 5 mm/hr*
(~ 0.20 in/hr*) 0.5 knots* (~ 0.6 mph*)
12.5%*
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Quoting redux:
Victoria-- is that the extrapolated surface pressure? good lord.


Yes it is, it dropped another 2 mb in just under 2 hours.
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958.7mb?? How is this thing still only 70 knots?
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1112. xcool
Enhanced Water Vapor Satellite
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Good Morning

Blog Update

Hurricane Alex chugs towards the Mexican Gulf Coast
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1110. xcool
drg0dOwnCountry cool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Well good morning it's raining cats and dogs in miami lol
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down and down 958,7mb.
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1107. redux
Victoria-- is that the extrapolated surface pressure? good lord.
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10:27:30Z 23.400N 95.117W 843.3 mb
(~ 24.90 inHg) 1,128 meters
(~ 3,701 feet) 958.7 mb
(~ 28.31 inHg) - From 101 at 10 knots
(From between the E and ESE at ~ 11.5 mph) 21.0C
(~ 69.8F) 18.5C
(~ 65.3F) 15 knots
(~ 17.2 mph) - - - -
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Quoting xcool:
victoriahurricane ////Enhanced Water Vapor Satellite from weathertap .shows storms at 25n lat


The eye is at around 23.4N, where are you getting 25N from?
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1103. xcool
victoriahurricane ////Enhanced Water Vapor Satellite from weathertap .shows storms at 25n lat
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1102. Hhunter
Link

eye on longrange loop..you can watch him edge north
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Quoting xcool:
and he at 25n to past nhc track too


Alex isn't past 25n ?
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1100. xcool
Enhanced Water Vapor Satellite
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1099. xcool
and he at 25n to past nhc track too
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting xcool:
Euroshifted North


Yup and Alex is heading more North right now, it really has got Alex nailed down.
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1097. xcool
Euroshifted North
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
10:25:00Z 23.283N 95.050W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,201 meters
(~ 3,940 feet) 967.1 mb
(~ 28.56 inHg) - From 237° at 59 knots
(From the WSW at ~ 67.8 mph) 19.8°C
(~ 67.6°F) 17.1°C
(~ 62.8°F) 60 knots
(~ 69.0 mph) 48 knots
(~ 55.2 mph) 13 mm/hr
(~ 0.51 in/hr) 47.2 knots (~ 54.3 mph)
Tropical Storm 80.0%

Still not at the center yet.
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Lots of lightning time to sign off..
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Alex has a very small area of Hurricane force winds, unless he moves NNW until landfall I don't think he'd make it into Texas with hurricane force winds.

Also this goes to show if it becomees a trend that the Euro is the model to follow this year. It shifted North earlier nearer to the border.
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1092. xcool
4 hr nw
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1091. Hhunter
hope its temporary..could be hurricane force winds into southern texas catching some people with their pants down if it does not revert back...4 hours is a heck of a trend..
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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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