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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As humans we can only speculate what a storm can do.. you can't say it can't develop a small eye because FAY and this storm (while over land) did end up developing a VERY small eye over land.. and they weren't CAT 1 hurricanes at the time now were they.
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Quoting JLPR2:
I want recon in Alex T_T
the suspense is killing me :S


Anyone know what are the Dvorak T-numbers doing? Maybe that will quell some of the suspense.
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can someone post the updated rain map?
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Quoting Skyepony:
That last recon plane was suppose to fly through the night, left early..LRandyB was is on it. Radar problems maybe.. Next plane scheduled to fly isn't suppose to do it's 1st fix til around 5am..
I guess no OT for HH's. I would be willing to pay for OT.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
When is the next recon penetration scheduled?


I heard on the Weather Channel that the last plane left due to mechanical problems.

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384. Asta
LINK- COLO State RAMMB: RAMSDIS tropical loop
Member Since: July 4, 2008 Posts: 30 Comments: 1024
LOL

Comparing Alex to Wilma?

Two different worlds there.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Yeah, but Wilma had more convection in its circulation (not gaps in its convective bands like Alex has now), and a super intense ring of convection was around that eye, way more impressive than Alex has right now. IMO, this is not a Wilma right now.



I never said it was going to do a wilma I was just showing you that cat 1 hurricanes can and sometimes do form pinhole eyes
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381. eye
taz, dont spaz
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Somethings gonna Happen



I dont Have much time...,

But tell BP they must leave that Place in 2 Days.


Whats Gonna Happen ?

Something WUnderful.



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Quoting Asta:
It appears that Alex is dipping into the moist waters of both the Pacific and the GOM straddling the Yucatan...
Is that really possible??
I'm looking at the movement on the South East side of the storm...



I heard on the Weather Channel that the last plane left due to mechanical problems.
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Quoting Skyepony:


The climo from that year had me scared of fires this summer. We had the same wet winter too that grew extra fuel. Had to water the citrus today. It was dropping dehydrated baby fruit.
I had six coconut trees that died because of the cold wet winter. Nothing I could do because they were too large to cover and anyways there wasn't really a big freeze, just steady wet cold. Coconut mortality on the barrier island looks to be about 50 percent.

I put in some new citrus, mango and macademia nut trees, but they would be doing a lot better on rainwater rather than my alkaline well "water".
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375. Skyepony (Mod)
That last recon plane was suppose to fly through the night, left early..LRandyB was is on it. Radar problems maybe.. Next plane scheduled to fly isn't suppose to do it's 1st fix til around 5amEST..
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374. JLPR2
I want recon in Alex T_T
the suspense is killing me :S
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Quoting leo305:


By definition Celia should have maxed out at CAT 2/3 then..


There are exceptions, of course. But generally it doesn't happen.
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Quoting leo305:


is that a confirmation? Because as far as I can tell, its impossible for you to know for a FACT that it wont blow up into a CAT 4.


99.9% chance he won't, then. Happy?
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Quoting leo305:


is that a confirmation? Because as far as I can tell, its impossible for you to know for a FACT that it wont blow up into a CAT 4.


Nope.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
YUP


Very very unlikely. Even though the pressure appears to be quickly dropping, so far there doesn't seem to be a significant increase in winds or organization at this time. Most likely I see this peaking at Cat 2, but I won't rule out a small chance for a major hurricane.
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369. JLPR2
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


I learned this when I took meteorology a couple years back. Often, tropical waves look impressive over Africa, and then lose convection once they cross into the Atlantic Ocean. Why?

The land of Africa is warmer than the Ocean, which leads to generally less atmospheric instability when over land. Once over water, the atmoshperic instability is generally less, and tropical waves can lose their "convective amazingness" upon emerging into water.

But that doesn't mean it can't develop down the road, who knows right now? I mean, Alex developed from a tropical wave which lost steam as it continued into waters, and here we are tonight talking about it. Tropical waves have to be taken day by day.


TWs change energy sources when moving from land to sea, they need to adapt to using the ocean's energy(SST) and then they get going, not many TWs stay intact, completely normal for them to fade a little once they emerge.
And I agree, it could be a player down the road, as all TWs this year. :\
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368. Daveg
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:


Hurricane Wilma had a pinhole eye as a cat 1 as well


Yeah, but Wilma had more convection in its circulation (not gaps in its convective bands like Alex has now), and a super intense ring of convection was around that eye, way more impressive than Alex has right now. IMO, this is not a Wilma right now.

EDIT: And this will probably never be a Wilma!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


No way, Taz. Oceanic heat content can't even support that.


By definition Celia should have maxed out at CAT 2/3 then..
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Quoting txjac:



Pat, what's an "Event Horizon"?


Google EVENT HORIZON
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Quoting ElConando:


Guess we will never see what hit them.
Event Horizon means we have no idea what is happening. Only way we can explain it.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:




Nope.


is that a confirmation? Because as far as I can tell, its impossible for you to know for a FACT that it wont blow up into a CAT 4.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
YUP


No way, Taz. Oceanic heat content can't even support that.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
OMG I MAY WAKE UP TOOO A CAT 4 OR 5 STORM IN THE AM


I have my doubts Taz.. he is so big now he is basically land locked. He is making landfall in almost 360 degrees :)
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Quoting Tazmanian:
OMG I MAY WAKE UP TOOO A CAT 4 OR 5 STORM IN THE AM

lol :)
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Quoting Asta:
It appears that Alex is dipping into the moist waters of both the Pacific and the GOM straddling the Yucatan...
Is that really possible??
I'm looking at the movement on the South East side of the storm...



1974's Fifi was certainly able to accomplish this feat. Alex appears to be much larger, so I see no obvious reason why he cannot do the same.
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YUP
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357. txjac
Quoting Patrap:
I think ALEX has developed a Event Horizon.




Pat, what's an "Event Horizon"?
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HurricaneAlex was heading toward Tampico,Mexico landfall in 29hours
(Straightline projection using its last 2 positions. Take with HUGE grain of salt)

Copy&paste TAM, MOB, PBI, SAL, 22.9N93.6W, 23.2N94.0W-28.7N88.4W, 23.2N94.5W-28.7N88.4W, 23.1N94.8W-28.7N88.4W, 23.2N94.5W-23.1N94.8W, 23.1N94.8W-22.1N97.7W into the GreatCircleMapper

The shortest red line denotes the heading between the last two positions.
Below the map shows:
H.Alex had a heading of 250.2degrees (~3degrees west of WestSouthWest), while
traveling a distance of 20miles (~32kilometres) over 3hours at a speed of ~7mph (~11kph);
and was 198miles from the coast in the direction it was heading.

* DeepwaterHorizon is marked at 28.7N88.4W
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CAUTION: Road ahead may have Nails and Daggers
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Quoting Tazmanian:
OMG I MAY WAKE UP TOOO A CAT 4 OR 5 STORM IN THE AM


Nope.
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Quoting ElConando:


Guess we will never see what hit them.



Into the abyss..or the NHC archives
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Quoting reedzone:
I guess my first forecast nailed Alex, should of stayed with it, but I really thought there would be a northern trend. Nobody really expected Alex to stall though, so it could have happened. Gotta watch out for those unexpected moves. "Go west young man when the evil goes east". <--- classic song from Michael W. Smith!
West Alex goes! Man, I really should have kept with my first forecast.
Photobucket

Sorry if I keep posting this, but I find this some how amazing how I caught it earlier, then lost it on the forecasts after this one. We live and learn, point of life.


LOL...you never said it would go west into Mexico.You bombed your forecast and said LA/TX then upper TX then near Brownsville. I give ya props for trying though.
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Quoting msgambler:
AN EYE. not a "pinhole eye"


What would a small eye/dot in the middle of the CDO be called then? Other than just an eye..
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OMG I MAY WAKE UP TOOO A CAT 4 OR 5 STORM IN THE AM
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Quoting Asta:
It appears that Alex is dipping into the moist waters of both the Pacific and the GOM straddling the Yucatan...
Is that really possible??
I'm looking at the movement on the South East side of the storm...



That is possible, Alex is a large circulation.
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Quoting Patrap:
I think ALEX has developed a Event Horizon.



Guess we will never see what hit them.
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346. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting guygee:
That one looks like a good rainmaker for NE Tx Coast. I only wish we could catch a break over our coast. Maybe it has rained on your side of US 1, but out here I haven't had more than a few anvil-sprinkles since the big trough in early June. It is at almost as bad as the big fire year, 1998, when we hardly had a rainy season, only more localized this time. That year too we had the El Nino-La Nina transition.


The climo from that year had me scared of fires this summer. We had the same wet winter too that grew extra fuel. Had to water the citrus today. It was dropping dehydrated baby fruit.
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345. Daveg
Got to give the NHC folks credit again. Not only for a great forecast, but they mentioned they expected Alex to resume a WNW path, and I'll be damned, off he goes starting to move more WNW than just W.

Hats off to the NHC (seriously, not kidding).

And here's hoping that wherever Alex makes landfall, everyone is safe and damage is minimal.
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344. JLPR2
323. TampaSpin 12:14 AM AST on June 30, 2010

ah! I knew something was behind that comment, really they even e-mail you?
Jeez... -.- Ridiculous.
I dont see the big deal, as long as you have proof to back up the claim, I disagree with the fact that the blog is not a nice place, it is, but some individuals ruin it sometimes :\, there's always one person or more that ruins something everywhere T_T
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Quoting leo305:


really so then what is forming? A hole in the middle of the CDO? I mean what else would that be..
AN EYE. not a "pinhole eye"
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I think ALEX has developed a Event Horizon.

De dee de deee

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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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