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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Galveston/Clear Lake area will be pounded soon by some of Alex. (not sure I know how to post radar)
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1540. Patrap
RECON fly's a Pre planned Pattern over the Storm.\






Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127541
Blog sure is slow now, good, now I can go back and read what I missed..
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Quoting Skyepony:


Good.. Alex isn't here, need rain though.

LRandyB's blog has some recon pics from lastnight. Looked a little tense coming back early with the broken radar.

Hunters are still headed in..down to 959.3 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) a few minimal hurricane flight winds.


How far are they from the eye?
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SPC DEEP S TX...

BASED ON LATEST NHC GUIDANCE...HURRICANE ALEX IS FORECAST TO
CONTINUE A WNWWD TRACK...MAKING LANDFALL ALONG THE NERN COAST OF
MEXICO TONIGHT. TIME TRENDS FROM BRO VWP INDICATE THAT LOW-LEVEL
SHEAR HAS STRENGTHENED CONSIDERABLY THIS MORNING WITH THE APPROACH
OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE...AND THIS TREND WILL LIKELY CONTINUE
THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY. AS WOULD BE EXPECTED...AMBIENT
AIR MASS IS VERY MOIST WITH PW VALUES APPROACHING 2.80 INCHES. AND
WHILE WIDESPREAD CLOUDINESS WILL LIMIT THE DEGREE OF DIABATIC
HEATING...THE HIGH MOISTURE CONTENT WILL MAINTAIN MODERATE
INSTABILITY WITH MLCAPE OF 1000-1500 J/KG.

CURRENT THINKING IS THAT THE THREAT FOR A FEW TORNADOES WILL
INCREASE THROUGH THE DAY...PEAKING THIS AFTERNOON INTO EVENING...IN
ASSOCIATION WITH ANY MORE PERSISTENT...ROTATING STORMS EMBEDDED
WITHIN LANDFALLING RAINBANDS.
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
940's anyone???
Unlikely. They are only a couple miles from the eye. I'm thinking more towards 953mb-958mb.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1535. Max1023
1530- It is going NW when you average it out, but quite slowly. 20-25 hours until landfall at this speed.
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recon has changed direction somewhat to more of a NNW fix
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One thing I have learned on here - these systems will wobble back and forth before landfall. A wobble to the north does not mean it's moving to the north...you'de have to wait a while to see a change in it's direction.
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Have to see the next center fix but Alex is running away again to the NW

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1531. Patrap
When ya focus on Landfall of the CoC or Eye..one has to realize Half the Storm is on shore and so is most of the surge...at that time and point.

Landfall is just a Point in time.

The effects are beginning now and will only degrade and worsen today in the Warned areas
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127541
1530. JDSmith
Quoting Max1023:
1505 - The eye seems to be oscillating between 300deg and 340deg motion for an average of maybe 315-325deg.


Meaning...? NW-NNW?
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1529. Bayside
Morning all, been on here a long time, but rarely post unless something headed toward the Chesapeake Bay area. I just wanted to thank ncforcaster for his well explained post on the winds and correlation with the pressure gradient. Now that I am logged on, I guess I can use the ignore feature that I shoulda been using yesterday ;)

Stay safe all in Alex's path!

Jon
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1528. Jynni99
Honetly right now I think there is going to be some horrible flooding from Alex... not pretty at all!
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940's anyone???
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Uh-oh. Pressure down to 959.3mb and they're still away from the eye.

000
URNT15 KNHC 301405
AF306 1101A ALEX HDOB 48 20100630
135530 2410N 09552W 8429 01362 9839 +203 +203 060041 042 033 003 00
135600 2409N 09551W 8426 01361 9837 +201 +201 059043 044 034 004 00
135630 2408N 09550W 8430 01354 9834 +199 +199 060046 046 035 003 00
135700 2407N 09549W 8429 01351 9832 +196 +196 060047 047 036 005 00
135730 2406N 09547W 8428 01346 9825 +195 +195 060046 046 039 004 00
135800 2404N 09546W 8430 01338 9820 +195 +195 060047 048 038 005 00
135830 2403N 09545W 8430 01333 9810 +197 +197 059049 050 040 005 00
135900 2402N 09544W 8426 01328 9802 +197 +197 055051 053 041 005 00
135930 2401N 09543W 8425 01321 9793 +196 +196 054054 055 044 005 00
140000 2400N 09541W 8432 01305 9783 +200 +200 052057 058 045 004 00
140030 2359N 09540W 8430 01296 9775 +190 +190 052059 061 048 005 00
140100 2358N 09539W 8428 01284 9756 +193 +193 053059 062 050 006 00
140130 2357N 09538W 8428 01271 9739 +202 +200 049056 057 051 004 00
140200 2356N 09537W 8428 01257 9724 +205 +198 043058 060 053 005 00
140230 2355N 09535W 8431 01240 9704 +208 +197 041055 056 054 005 00
140300 2353N 09534W 8421 01231 9682 +215 +197 036051 052 049 006 00
140330 2352N 09533W 8425 01211 9664 +218 +199 027049 050 044 004 00
140400 2351N 09531W 8425 01193 9639 +226 +202 019047 047 037 004 03
140430 2351N 09530W 8436 01156 9608 +236 +206 016037 043 038 003 00
140500 2350N 09528W 8426 01151 9593 +229 +211 021023 027 024 004 03
$$
;
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
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Quoting TeachOnTheEdge:


TWC just showed early Thursday morning, 1AM as landfall...was going to be tonight.
Well with the slow motion I'm still thinking tomorrow morning (around 10 AM EDT) opposed to 1 AM.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1522. Patrap
Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 30th day of the month at 14:05Z
Date: June 30, 2010
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 01
Storm Name: Alex (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 11
Observation Number: 48


14:05:00Z 23.833N 95.467W 842.6 mb

(~ 24.88 inHg) 1,151 meters

(~ 3,776 feet) 959.3 mb

(~ 28.33 inHg) - From 21° at 23 knots

(From the NNE at ~ 26.4 mph)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127541
1521. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127541
1520. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Thanks Skye. How are things?


Good.. Alex isn't here, need rain though.

LRandyB's blog has some recon pics from lastnight. Looked a little tense coming back early with the broken radar.

Hunters are still headed in..down to 959.3 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) a few minimal hurricane flight winds.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37331
Quoting Squid28:
If it were a hundred years ago, and i was on the upper Texas coast, I would be freaking out, swearing that a storm was coming in on my door step. I know it is going south but the sky sure has that look, as does the water up here.

Also here is the Trinity river authority gauges/flow data, see if I can find the rest to many bookmarks...

TRA LINK


I'm on the East Fork of the Trinity--be interesting to see if it floods with all that water being pushed up.
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Quoting Patrap:


Great loop! Seems to be returning to the wnw motion
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1516. 7544
wait is that a wobble now in the frame to the nne could he want to do this before reaching at least 25n hmmmmm
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Wow pretty slow motion there. I'm starting to think more towards a landfall tomorrow morning/afternoon opposed to a landfall late tonight.


TWC just showed early Thursday morning, 1AM as landfall...was going to be tonight.
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1514. Patrap
Quoting IMA:
Good morning, {{{Pat}}}! I think y'all have gotten more rain than we have - but I'm afraid that's going to change, maybe greatly. This has sure been a "fun" one to watch, I tell ya!


G'morn IMA ..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127541
1512. Patrap
13:45:00Z 24.533N 96.300W 843.7 mb

(~ 24.91 inHg) 1,379 meters

(~ 4,524 feet) 988.0 mb

(~ 29.18 inHg)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127541
1511. Squid28
Lower colorado river authority link, discharges into the west bay of Matagorda

L.C.R.A. LINK
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1510. Max1023
1505 - The eye seems to be oscillating between 300deg and 340deg motion for an average of maybe 315-325deg.
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1508. IMA
Quoting Patrap:
Areal Flood Watch, Coastal Flood Advisory

Good morning, {{{Pat}}}! I think y'all have gotten more rain than we have - but I'm afraid that's going to change, maybe greatly. This has sure been a "fun" one to watch, I tell ya!
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Quoting StormW:


For right now, until I look at things later today, my benchmark is at least a possible border hit.


Thank you so much. Always appreciate your insight. Will look for your update later today.
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Thanks StormW - I'm on & off the blog this morning & just saw your reply to my question.
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1505. hercj
Quoting Skyepony:


Just about to fix center..

Sky, have you noticed the last two fixes have been NW and if im looking at the flight path right this one is going to be NW as well?
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eye clearing up on vis... maybe we will get a clear eye here soon
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1502. Squid28
If it were a hundred years ago, and i was on the upper Texas coast, I would be freaking out, swearing that a storm was coming in on my door step. I know it is going south but the sky sure has that look, as does the water up here.

Also here is the Trinity river authority gauges/flow data, see if I can find the rest to many bookmarks...

TRA LINK
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1501. Patrap
Areal Flood Watch, Coastal Flood Advisory

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127541
I'm certainly not a meteorologist but I do know one thing about Hurricanes. It ain't over 'til it's over and Alex will decide when it's over. Living on the Gulf Coast, I know not to let my guard down until he hits shore somewhere.
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1498. srada

anyone seeing the spin around the bahamas?
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1497. angiest
Quoting StormW:
Current RGB Imagery with forecast point overlay indicates the center is about 60nm east of the forecast point.


I extrapolated (by hand) where the center might be about now from according to the Brownsville radar and it does look a hair to the right. Not terribly precise of course.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1496. Patrap
The Impacts have begun all around where the Circulation is Hitting the Coastline.


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1495. Max1023
I'm calling EWRC on the next recon pass. Also the eye is wobbling a LOT on Radar. Almost a stair-step pattern.
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another question... if recon finds 70 knt surface winds in the NW quadrant do you think that NHC will go ahead and up the winds to 75 or 80 knts with the idea that the NE quadrant has higher winds?
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Quoting leo305:
ITS SHOCKING to me hat Alex has a 958mb pressure and the winds are only 80mph ...


I agree you'd think the winds would be faster. Then again Rita's pressure was lower than Audrey's at the same reporting stations. Until the instruments failed. She was "only" a cat 3. Lol. gotta throw that only in there.
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1491. IMA
Quoting DestinJeff:


Good job, Grissom. You got me. I am the real JFV, I give up.


You must have had lots of therapy 'cause you've come a long way towards "normal"!
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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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