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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thanks- where do you think the departed convection will end up, and is the weather bad in that convection?
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1291
740. JLPR2
Quoting RecordSeason:
724:

It is being ejected from the system for reasons I have yet to entirely figure out. The storm has a history of convection that forms on the south side swings around the east side and escapes out of the north side. It probably has something to do with the size of the storm, which is at or near the maximum possible size for a surface low pressure system.

However, the system is gradually becoming better organized, and I believe it has begun to re-capture the most intense blob in the middle of the gulf.


Yeah I ran some visibles, (yeah I know useless at this hour LOL!), and you can see how Alex grabbed some clouds from the big blob but it wasn't able to eat it whole.
I wonder when Alex is going to clear his eye
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739. xcool



update
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
It's only 11:40 here.
Member Since: October 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 544
I use GRL3 and show (radar indicated) storm totals of 4.32 to the east of Ricardo, TX and 4.92 just east of Lapeno, TX.
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736. xcool
yep 130
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Quoting Hattie:
Hi guys , I think there is a plane going in again..hope the link works http://www.tropicalatlantic.com/recon/URNT15/KNHC/


Yup.

They'll probably find sub-970mb with winds AOA 95mph.



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its only 1:30 where i am. lol:)
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1291
Hi guys , I think there is a plane going in again..hope the link works http://www.tropicalatlantic.com/recon/URNT15/KNHC/
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731. xcool
kaboom
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/avn-l.jpg

The satellite image from the same time (5:45 UTC) in the above website doesn't show Alex's eye
nearly as nicely as the image you posted. I wonder why some infrared color schemes show Alex's eye better than other color schemes.


One of my favorite sites..

Member Since: February 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
it looks like alex is throwing bombs,lol:)
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1291
Quoting sarahjola:
where did everyone go?


Its 2:30 in the morning lol
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where did everyone go?
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


GHCC's color table for their GOES 13 IR sat is more sensitive than SSD's older ones.

Includes more possible colors, thus more detail.


LOL, this is like having higher-defintion television. I wish the NHC website would subscribe to higher defintion.
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why is that covection at 28n 95w going north? thanks in advance:)
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1291
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/avn-l.jpg

The satellite image from the same time (5:45 UTC) in the above website doesn't show Alex's eye nearly as nicely as the image you posted. I wonder why some infrared color schemes show Alex's eye better than other color schemes.


GHCC's color table for their GOES 13 IR sat is more sensitive than SSD's older ones.

Includes more possible colors, thus more detail.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Eye



http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/avn-l.jpg

The satellite image from the same time (5:45 UTC) in the above website doesn't show Alex's eye nearly as nicely as the image you posted. I wonder why some infrared color schemes show Alex's eye better than other color schemes.
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Member Since: February 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
Recon is up
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719. xcool



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
There are some interesting secondary vortices in this storm. One is very clear on the Brownsville radar and in the satellite images.
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701. 7544 6:12 AM GMT on June 30, 2010
anyone here from bronsville texas have a link to a local news station thats covering alex live on air
Try these:

KRGV.COM or KVEO.COM
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<~~ sorry long time lurker here love you all!
Just wanted to say maybe he is waiting to pop that eye before plowing in!
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Quoting TeachOnTheEdge:


Here's the hurricane page for KGBT, but I didn't see a live feed.


Probably won't be on there until some time tomorrow.
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712. 7544
thanks btwn and everyone ill be waiting for thr coverage
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Eye

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Quoting WeatherFromtheSouth:
KGBT 4 News said they would be doing live streaming on their website throughout the storm.

www.valleycentral.com


Here's the hurricane page for KGBT, but I didn't see a live feed.
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709. xcool
btwntx08 you ready for him.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
winter123 - those movie are so cool. make me feel silly copying those still images!
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I must say I'm a little surprised that Alex is slowing down this much.
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KGBT 4 News said they would be doing live streaming on their website throughout the storm.

www.valleycentral.com
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Quoting 7544:
anyone here from bronsville texas have a link to a local news station thats covering alex live on air as it comes in tia


The local affliates are easy to look up on the 'net--channel five is pretty good. Just came in from Harlingen a couple of hours ago--no continuous live coverage.

http://www.krgv.com/content/weather/hurricane/default.aspx
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Quoting LRandyB:




Awesome job you have..
Thanks for sharing your photos with us.
You make me miss my days flying..
=USAF=
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701. 7544
anyone here from bronsville texas have a link to a local news station thats covering alex live on air as it comes in tia
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Haha I'm leaving my last comment as it shows how tired I am. I'd love to stay up but I'll be back for the 11am or 2pm update. After that I'm busy all day - unfortunately, as this is an interesting storm to track.

Leave you with this -
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699. xcool
wow he not move
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Why is Patrap leaving?
Member Since: February 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
I think this 12-hr avg. is a smart thing so that they can weed-out the short-term wobbles that a storm can have.

So, by the NHC definition, it looks like a stall is if the storm hasn't moved in the last 12 hours. I guess I learned something new tonight on the blog.
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Quoting sarahjola:
i would like to say thanks. you guys put your lives on the line to get critical information to the public, which in turn saves lives. you guys are hero's in my book:)


Thank you!
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I'll be back for the
Quoting WaterWitch11:


no it was more recent, hanna 2008?

Hannah was the definition of interesting. It seems like it combined with an upper low and i have never seen that before or since. Also it had such high shear the whole life cycle but still managed to become a hurricane. Movie
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same means stalled. Also they don't have HH, can't ask them to break schedule like rest of us do every day and our jobs don't impact so many people. Total bull.
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Quoting WaterWitch11:


no it was more recent, hanna 2008?


Yeah, perhaps Hanna 2008. It did do a loop over the E Bahamas and near N Haiti before charging NW toward the SE US.
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From the NHC:

SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.1N 94.8W


SUMMARY OF 100 AM CDT...0600 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.1N 94.8W

Okay, I see your points. Yeah, I guess they are taking 12 hour average. I guess in the last 3 hours, it has stalled.

Stalling now is probably better for S Texas, but worse for NE Mexico. By the time Alex resumes good motion, it will have been at a more southerly position than expected when the ridge really starts to push it, keeping its WNW track further south.
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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.