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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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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2nd pass recon 985.8mb and still 50miles to center.
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1089. Hhunter
pretty solid nw loop the last few frames..yikes
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1087. xcool
lmao
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting StormW:


Good morning!


Enjoyed the show Storm, Bob was putting me to asleep until you came on..
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1085. xcool
he at 25n Lat
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

Is it shifting more north? Hard to say without grid lines.


Site went tango uniform..
Looks NW
IR Link
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1083. xcool
Claudette1234 i see that too bad
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
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1081. Hhunter
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Quoting xcool:
yeah he nw move bad bad


Hey xcool,
Yes bad news. Long Range Radar in Brownsville confirm movement NW.

Morning all.
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We have an Eye now! easy to track
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Alex really needs to work on his north side, it has almost no convection there whereas the south has thunderstorms popping.
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1077. MahFL
Does anyone know why the "http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/" site went useless on the very first storm of the season ?
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1076. Hhunter
what do you think storm..little pressure drop over night..little shift north..
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1075. xcool
yonzabam yes
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting StormW:


Good morning!


Morning, Storm. Has Alex started moving a bit more to the north?
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Morning Storm.
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1072. Hhunter
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1071. xcool
StormW hi
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

Is it shifting more north? Hard to say without grid lines.


Check out the link on 1056.
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Quoting lopaka001:

Is it shifting more north? Hard to say without grid lines.
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This really is a massive circulation.... no wonder it can't get its act together - there's so much act to get!



Look at how it's hanging over into the EPac... all the way across Mexico!
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1066. xcool
yeah he nw move bad bad
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Wow, 961 mb that's over a 10 mb drop since the 11 pm advisory.


And seems to be heading north, which means more time over water, if maintained.
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1064. xcool
bad 961
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
flibi,

I have to admit based on the sat. imagery it looks like there should be more on that longrange from Mex.....

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Wow, 961 mb that's over a 10 mb drop since the 11 pm advisory.
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1061. xcool
washingaway i/m wait for new come out
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
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Thunderstorm
over water
Max Reflectivity: 51 dBZ
Severe Hail: 0% Chance
Hail: 0% Chance
Max Hail Size: 0.00 in.
Echo Top: 19,000 ft.
Vert. Integrated Liquid: 13 kg/m²
Speed: 51 knots
Direction (from): NE (41)
Radar Site: BRO
ID: L1


uhmmm 50kts 57mph at 150miles from center Hurricane
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Quoting BahaHurican:
This looks like the closest radar site on the Mexican side....
Quoting BahaHurican:
That's Tampico, I believe.
Quoting flibinite:
Baha... I think that's Altimira, and I've been looking at that site all night, and half the time it's been frozen, same as the last recon's radar, so I wouldn't really trust what it's showing now, unfortunately. :-(

Jo
Altamira is just "north Tampico" lol....

Looks like it's updating every 15 minutes. Even with freezes, it'll add to the picture we're getting from Brownsville....
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look @ this WV loop, look at the out flow to the west. It flatens out. I notice this almost 12 hours ago and it is still doing it.
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1055. xcool
cya you alex
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Alright going to call it a night goodnight all and stay safe.
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1053. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Rotating Thunderstorm
Kleberg County, TX
Max Reflectivity: 58 dBZ
Severe Hail: 0% Chance
Hail: 0% Chance
Max Hail Size: 0.00 in.
Echo Top: 13,000 ft.
Vert. Integrated Liquid: 17 kg/m²
Speed: 37 knots
Direction (from): ENE (74)
Radar Site: CRP
ID: F2
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Winds. Not Windows, lol.
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1050. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Is recon still in alex?
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Im on tx/la border and starting to see some windows and sprinkles, decent gusts, nothing more yet. I was watching the galveston webcams on galveston .com and seawall and bay have strong winds and light rain.
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Baha... I think that's Altimira, and I've been looking at that site all night, and half the time it's been frozen, same as the last recon's radar, so I wouldn't really trust what it's showing now, unfortunately. :-(

Jo
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1046. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
That's Tampico, I believe.
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Honestly who thought that the first named storm would look like this?
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1043. Hhunter
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This looks like the closest radar site on the Mexican side....
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Quoting Claudette1234:
Corpus Christi and Brownsville local thunderstorm in radar.
Alex will create a lot of flooding concerns in this area today and even beyond as this is a big storm.
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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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