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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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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Quoting scottsvb:


Im just snobby to you cause you challenge all my forecasts for years and you fail each time and when you do fail you hate me more. Also you dont like me cause you blame me for you being banned on the other hurricane site but I didnt get you banned.. you got yourself banned for wishcasting they said and giving forecasts without backing up logical reasons why. Even earlier today you jumped on my forecast cause I continiously said 23.5-24N and started to flip out. Anyways Stormchaser is correct, if you dont want to hear what I say... put me on ignore...but you dont put me on ignore cause you know I will be correct 90% of the time. And why? Cause I do have a degree in Meteorology and I also have friends who work @ local NWS and hear their inputs and also connections to the NHC. You keep me around also cause you want 1 day for me to get a forecast wrong when you are right.. and you know what.. I do get things wrong..but if you get it correct.. it will be a guesscast..not a forecast.

So how long have you two been married?
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489. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting TexasHurricane:
Does anyone have the latest rain chart for the storm?


The one I usually post hasn't updated in days. I've never seen that.
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Quoting zoomiami:
Honestly you two -- if you want to argue take it to WUmail. Some of us don't want to watch --- or you could both get ignored.

No idea how old either one of you are - but I feel like I'm listening to my teens go at it.
at least one falls under that category...
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In Tropical Cyclones of the Cv Nature.
Size DOES matta...

Always will..
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486. Gorty
Not to be a doomcaster, but, i think that heavy feeder band moving toward TX can moisterize the atmposphere and then the dry air shouldn't be a problem anymore, but, it will be too late for Alex to strengthen into a Cat 3 hurricane. I am thinking 100 MPH or 105 mph at landfall. Unless of course, Alex wants to fool everyone, and he RI into a Cat 3.
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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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Patrap:
Thats why its called forecasting instead of beforecasting.


Nice one. :)
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Quoting putintang3:
Thats Centex for your explanation. I read the definition for Event Horizon, It was a bit too deep for me.
Understand, it's simple; it's the horizon where our knowledge/laws breaks down. We just plain don't understand this, Einstein could not explain this. It's just the point where no one understands. It sounds like we know something and named it, but it really means we don't know. So we all have same knowledge on subject.
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Quoting Weather456:
It took 15 years to get a June hurricane? WOW



Makes you wonder whats to come.
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Quoting oddspeed:
Incoming


looks like I will getting some soon....
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480. jsit
is this thing moving at all? it looks to me like Ive seen more forward motion out of my bathtub drain... Im just an ocd coast living person that cant stop watching the storm spin but whats that thing doing- spitting off stormy looking bits. Its very quiet in Corpus atm - and it looks like the crud the storm is tossing off may be about as bad (results wise- with rain n potential tornados etc) as the storm center. ideas?
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Quoting hercj:

Hey Pat you got it. the J is one great bird and they have overcome alot of strikes in flight in the past. It just moves from 1 flight management system to another. All automation. I will be interested to see what happened. I am beginning to think NOAA may need to think about getting something new to fly. They are having a ton of trouble keeping those WP3-D's flying.


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.
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456 -- what do you think about the stall?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
01L/H/A/C1
MARK
22.78N/95.32W
.
I'm seeing almost right at 23.0 95.0, but hard to tell under the CDO. Don't think it's stalled, making a steady grind to the West.

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Quoting Patrap:
Thats why its called forecasting instead of beforcasting


I'm better at armchair aftercasting.
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Honestly you two -- if you want to argue take it to WUmail. Some of us don't want to watch --- or you could both get ignored.

No idea how old either one of you are - but I feel like I'm listening to my teens go at it.
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473. hercj
Quoting Patrap:


.."Were gonna need a bigger blog"..

Hey Pat you got it. the J is one great bird and they have overcome alot of strikes in flight in the past. It just moves from 1 flight management system to another. All automation. I will be interested to see what happened. I am beginning to think NOAA may need to think about getting something new to fly. They are having a ton of trouble keeping those WP3-D's flying.
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Is Alex moving or not? If not what does this mean?
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Thats why its called forecasting instead of beforecasting.
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Quoting reedzone:


I know, but he's the reason why many people on here have me on ignore, not from the arguments, lol well maybe some, but he lies to everyone about me and they ignore me. It ruins my reputation as a good blogger. I put him on ignore, I don't see how a true MET could be so snobby..


Im just snobby to you cause you challenge all my forecasts for years and you fail each time and when you do fail you hate me more. Also you dont like me cause you blame me for you being banned on the other hurricane site but I didnt get you banned.. you got yourself banned for wishcasting they said and giving forecasts without backing up logical reasons why. Even earlier today you jumped on my forecast cause I continiously said 23.5-24N and started to flip out. Anyways Stormchaser is correct, if you dont want to hear what I say... put me on ignore...but you dont put me on ignore cause you know I will be correct 90% of the time. And why? Cause I do have a degree in Meteorology and I also have friends who work @ local NWS and hear their inputs and also connections to the NHC. You keep me around also cause you want 1 day for me to get a forecast wrong when you are right.. and you know what.. I do get things wrong..but if you get it correct.. it will be a guesscast..not a forecast.
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Incoming
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466. Skyepony (Mod)
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Didn't StormW say on the show that the downward pulse was coming around the beginning of July? Seems like everytime this updates, there's a change. lol
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Quoting Drakoen:


The NHC does that with every storm


Touché

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Quoting Asta:
Please tell me Alex is not in both the Pacific and the GOM at the same time...
??


The center position is used to tell where the storm is located. Since the center is in the Gulf of Mexico, that is where it is technically located right now.

Alex has a large, broad circulation. That's why despite a central pressure of 973 mb, its winds are not as high as they should be (Alex is so spaced out, its pressure gradient is lower than typical storms with 973 mb). So, it is believable that its circulation is quiet large, and feeder bands in its southern periphery are tapping into the E-Pac.
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461. Daveg
Quoting KoritheMan:


Oh, don't worry. It's always like this. Really. :)


LOL!
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It took 15 years to get a June hurricane? WOW
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Daveg:
Dang.... do the hostilities always break out near the end of a storm event?

I was about to say how much everyone has helped me learn during this storm, and all the "I predicted it", "You suck" stuff broke out.

I just like to say, that whether one person ended up nailing it, or totally missing it, I appreciate all the insight I have gained. Much appreciated. Look forward to learning more as the season goes on.


Oh, don't worry. It's always like this. Really. :)
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Quoting Drakoen:


The NHC does that with every storm


That's true. I don't see anything wrong with changing your forecasts accordingly, as conditions warrant.
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.."Were gonna need a bigger blog"..
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455. txjac
Centex, thanks for the explanation as I did google it and saw the formula and explanation I knew that I was in over my head.
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454. Daveg
Dang.... do the hostilities always break out near the end of a storm event?

I was about to say how much everyone has helped me learn during this storm, and all the "I predicted it", "You suck" stuff broke out.

I just like to say, that whether one person ended up nailing it, or totally missing it, I appreciate all the insight I have gained. Much appreciated. Look forward to learning more as the season goes on.
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Quoting Gorty:
What do they mean when a cyclone is getitng better organized?


It's cloud pattern is becoming more organized..and it;s strengthening.
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Thats Centex for your explanation. I read the definition for Event Horizon, It was a bit too deep for me.
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Ike had little heat content to work with, yet went through explosive deepening out in the CATL.

Obviously a different story here.
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Sat image in post 435 shows a nice southern eye wall, eye wall not looking so good in northern semicircle. This eye is still not mature yet IMO, I believe only gradual sterngthening right now.
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01L/H/A/C1
MARK
22.78N/95.32W
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Quoting hurrkat05:
lmao reedzone dont take it personaly man they playing with you


Not scottsvb, him and I have been arguing for years on here and Flhurricane, which I am back on since I was able to get a new password lol. I was never permanently banned from there.
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444. Gorty
What do they mean when a cyclone is getitng better organized?
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Does anyone have the latest rain chart for the storm?
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Quoting centex:
Event Horizon means we have no idea what is happening. Only way we can explain it.
Can't resist adding to this post, since this term was brought up. This is just a term the best modern physicist came up with to explain where a point was reached entering a "black hole" where they had no idea what happened when it got sucked in to this point. Basically it points out the horizon of our knowledge. I thought Google will not give you a better explanation so thought WU answer is better.
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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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