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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541. Skyepony (Mod)
centex~ Oh.. why didn't the next scheduled flight leave early? They may a little but you just can't rip up the POD. I feel your frustration..only like 4 more hrs. That's a nap.
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Quoting hercj:

I'm in Biloxi a lot. next time i'm down hell ill give ya a ride. you wont believe flying could be like this.


Cool..Im only 57 Minutes by Car to there on I-10.

With a Tailwind..50


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539. hercj
Quoting Skyepony:


They have. Dr Masters has a blog of leaving Hugo early linked up there. & there was an incident with Grapple not too long ago..

hercj~ Take me...


Sky did they get out of BIX early is that what your saying?
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Quoting Weather456:


No, this has been said many times since Alex was TD 1 in the Caribbean on Friday. An advancing trough north of the region would induce more of a northerly component and we say that during the crossing and entering into the SW GOM, while a ridge in the wake of the trough would force Alex back towards the west. This is basically the col between the two features.
Hum I don't remember "col between the two" explanation for W turn than slow motion after ridge builds in.
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Quoting Weather456:


No, this has been said many times since Alex was TD 1 in the Caribbean on Friday. An advancing trough north of the region would induce more of a northerly component and we say that during the crossing and entering into the SW GOM, while a ridge in the wake of the trough would force Alex back towards the west. This is basically the col between the two features.
Ok, I misunderstood when you said relacing ridge, because i had read earlier that there was a weakness in the high and had retreated to the NE. I thought you were saying that a new ridge was replacing that one.
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536. hercj
Quoting Skyepony:


They have. Dr Masters has a blog of leaving Hugo early linked up there. & there was an incident with Grapple not too long ago..

hercj~ Take me...


Sky did they get out of BIX early, is that what you said?
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Alex seems to be struggling to move because the big high to it East the Bermuda High wants it to go North....while the High to its North wants it to go west.....it is sorta sandwiched in between the to highs!
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Quoting TampaSpin:
I have had 4 emails in the last 10 minutes from people that is afraid to post something on the main blog because of what happens to them.....UNREAL What this blog has become!


sad to say but is true..look around at what year the blogger joined and see how many long time members still post here - not many..there are some few exceptions.
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Quoting sarahjola:
do you see any change in motion? why does that convection to the nne seem to be stronger than where the the coc is? do you still feel a new coc in near future? thanks in advance:)


Hard to say as Im not a Met.



So I watch and observe what I see in Laymans terms mostly here.

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Quoting LightningCharmer:
I gain insight from scientific debate, even passionate debate, as long as it's done with respect and additionally better yet with good humor. I agree with others here that I don't really want to read personal attacks, threats, and foul language (not that all of that is occuring here and now).

This is a tropical weather blog and not fight club. LOL


Well said. Kudos.
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Drak,

What are your thoughts on the earlier discussion of the weakness to the north possible contributing to a slow or stall in motion over the last few hours...
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I wonder how much rain is falling in that detached convection well to the north, whether that detached convective area will last until landfall, and how much flooding in Texas it will cause.
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528. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting centex:
Sky, why has HH not left early when previous flight aborted?


They have. Dr Masters has a blog of leaving Hugo early linked up there. & there was an incident with Grapple not too long ago..

hercj~ Take me...

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Looks like dry air is inhibiting an eye to form for now.
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I gain insight from scientific debate, even passionate debate, as long as it's done with respect and additionally better yet with good humor. I agree with others here that I don't really want to read personal attacks, threats, and foul language (not that all of that is occuring here and now).

This is a tropical weather blog and not fight club. LOL
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525. jpsb
Quoting Weather456:


No, this has been said many times since Alex was TD 1 in the Caribbean on Friday. An advancing trough north of the region would induce more of a northerly component and we say that during the crossing and entering into the SW GOM, while a ridge in the wake of the trough would force Alex back towards the west. This is basically the col between the two features.
Gotta hand it to you weather you nailed this one days ago! good job.
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Quoting Patrap:
NEXRAD Radar
Brownsville, Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 1.45 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI

do you see any change in motion? why does that convection to the nne seem to be stronger than where the the coc is? do you still feel a new coc in near future? thanks in advance:)
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Quoting jpsb:
FYI, I've been following your forecasts and I think you've done a great job. Just saying.


Thank you.
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521. xcool
TampaSpin that so sad
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting scott39:
So there is a new ridge building?


No, this has been said many times since Alex was TD 1 in the Caribbean on Friday. An advancing trough north of the region would induce more of a northerly component and we say that during the crossing and entering into the SW GOM, while a ridge in the wake of the trough would force Alex back towards the west. This is basically the col between the two features.
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519. Skyepony (Mod)
Real Time POES Imagery
Gulf of Mexico AMSU Rain Rate Loop
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518. jpsb
Quoting reedzone:
Looks like Alex is becoming more organized, getting more deep convection and filtering out more dry air tonight, this is what I was "guessing" if one wants to call it, would happen tonight.
FYI, I've been following your forecasts and I think you've done a great job. Just saying.
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Quoting Skyepony:


The one I usually post hasn't updated in days. I've never seen that.
Sky, why has HH not left early when previous flight aborted?
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516. hercj
Quoting Patrap:


If ya can one day.

I'd like to check it out if in MSY here or close.


Ill bring cake.

I'm in Biloxi a lot. next time i'm down hell ill give ya a ride. you wont believe flying could be like this.
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I have had 4 emails in the last 10 minutes from people that is afraid to post something on the main blog because of what happens to them.....UNREAL What this blog has become!
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514. txjac
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I wonder how much rain is falling in that detached convection well to the north, whether that detached convective area will last until landfall, and how much flooding in Texas it will cause.



lol ...I was wondering the same thing so I just went and moved my car to a higher up parking space ...it's a small car and I dont want it under water
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513. Daveg
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I wonder how much rain is falling in that detached convection well to the north, whether that detached convective area will last until landfall, and how much flooding in Texas it will cause.


I've been watching that detaching area of convection as well. It's like he just had to make sure and send something our way up here in Texas. :-)
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Quoting Weather456:
What is a troubling sign for the season ahead is that Alex's central pressure is always a category higher than its winds. 973 millibars is typical for a category 2 hurricane. Looks like we will have some deep pressured system this year.


You know, I was thinking the same too. I know in 2005 and warm AMO years that the ITCZ is displaced northward in general. Is the generally low surface pressures in tropical cyclones a sign of northward ITCZ pressure field? Does that mean more voriticity and hence more tropical cyclone potential?
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The African nursery sure is getting active. I know we have something close but the future (the east) looks very active.
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Quoting Weather456:


surprising but explainable....the storm is south of a col between the exiting trough and the replacing ridge. Probably allowing the storm more time to strengthen (but it has to move before upwelling weakens it). Also, landfall may occur further south.
So there is a new ridge building?
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NEXRAD Radar
Brownsville, Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 1.45 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI

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Thanks
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Good evening everyone, ├ža va?
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Quoting LoneStarWeather:

So how long have you two been married?


lol
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Quoting Daveg:
"Appears" he is trying to add back in a bit of northerly motion (and back to WNW) as the NHC said he would, but so hard to tell.
If hes moved its been very little. IMO
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Quoting zoomiami:
456 -- what do you think about the stall?


surprising but explainable....the storm is south of a col between the exiting trough and the replacing ridge. Probably allowing the storm more time to strengthen (but it has to move before upwelling weakens it). Also, landfall may occur further south.
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IMO, the nearly stationary motion seems to be due to the transition of being steered by a large upper trough across the E United States and buidling ridge in central United States. There might be competing drag between the trough to the NE and ridge to the NW. But I see Alex moving steadily westward while coming under the influence of the Central US ridge now. It'll likely continue W and WNW till landfall, making landfall S of the Border.
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Quoting hercj:
Yep, coming back into Tampa this evening it was rockin and rollin and it is at times like these I am glad the boss unloaded all that money on that G550. Since his butt was sittin in the back I am thinkin he was too. lol.


If ya can one day.

I'd like to check it out if at MSY here or close.


Ill bring cake.
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Quoting Skyepony:


The one I usually post hasn't updated in days. I've never seen that.


Someone had posted it earlier. It shows different colors and each color is a certain inch of rain.....hope that helps.
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Looks like Alex is becoming more organized, getting more deep convection and filtering out more dry air tonight, this is what I was "guessing" if one wants to call it, would happen tonight.
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495. Daveg
"Appears" he is trying to add back in a bit of northerly motion (and back to WNW) as the NHC said he would, but so hard to tell.
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"Fascinating"..

One raised eyebrow from Vulcan Science Officer..now residing in Boca.




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493. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
492. hercj
Quoting Patrap:


Like the B-52 and many before.

The Airframes are well built and bring home the Crews.

Just Gut Um every 9 years and Upgrade um.
Yep, coming back into Tampa this evening it was rockin and rollin and it is at times like these I am glad the boss unloaded all that money on that G550. Since his butt was sittin in the back I am thinkin he was too. lol.
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Quoting Asta:
Please tell me Alex is not in both the Pacific and the GOM at the same time...
??



It looks like it's almost become part of the so called Pineapple Express.

It's clearly feeding off of both oceans.
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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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