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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I think ALEX has developed a Event Horizon.

De dee de deee

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if that is not the development of a pinhole eye then I do not know what it is
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339. 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...

Member Since: July 4, 2008 Posts: 30 Comments: 1024
Where are some of you getting a multiple votex system at??? There is only one vortex and it is pretty plain to see...
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Quoting JLPR2:
The TWs convection loosing steam, well, that was expected. :P


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.
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Quoting msgambler:
Fine then, there is not a "pinhole eye" forming. It is barely a possile Cat. 2 Hurricane.
You feel better now.


really so then what is forming? A hole in the middle of the CDO? I mean what else would that be..
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Quoting msgambler:
Fine then, there is not a "pinhole eye" forming. It is barely a possile Cat. 2 Hurricane.
You feel better now.


Hurricane Wilma had a pinhole eye as a cat 1 as well
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earlier we had real eye forming. Even JM posted MW image, only 3/4 but getting there and that was hours ago. So eye formation is on the board at this time.
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Wow,you can see the eye on the long range radar loop!!!
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329. xcool
TampaSpin who ?
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Quoting Skyepony:
I see these blobs that continue to fire away from the center as the different entities that Alex ate along the way.. Farthest N~ the wave that followed & tormented for so long & tonight's blow up~ Darby remains enhanced by the evening Yucatan blow up.
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.
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:



for all we know it could be a cat 2 by now because the pressure had a significant drop tonight... recon has not been in there for a while
Fine then, there is not a "pinhole eye" forming. It is barely a possile Cat. 2 Hurricane.
You feel better now.
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alex will go toward the weakness,a stalled front according to the weather channel.
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Quoting scottsvb:
Hurricane Alex has actually been a pretty easy forecast.. Only challenging part of Alex is the intensity. I figured 85-95mph storm and landfall around 23.5N could go .5 eigther way. Tx will get squalls, winds in squalls near TS strength and isolated tornados. Most of the sustained TS winds will be south of Brownsville with Hurricane force winds about 100 miles or more south of there. Path of Alex was forcasted 2 days ago via steering currents and reliable ECMWF on 3 days out forecast. This along with the short terms GFDL and close GFS and midlevel pattern steering made this a 23N-24N landfall in general. Nothing is 100% and for population factors out 48 hours Hurricane watches/Warnings were issued. I posted last night the warnings will be droped in the U.S. to tropical storm warnings even thought he sustained windfield will be 20-35mph but squalls will bring in other factors. Chances of this making landfall in the U.S. is about 5% .. north of 25N about 25%
why is Alex stalled?
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Quoting JLPR2:


Tampa are you in a bad mood, I dont know, you seem a little more aggressive this year, or maybe my memory is failing me but either way, jeez really?
Who's the older person here?


Some freinds of mine got banned on here today defending me. NO reason for the attacking to continue the way it does......I posted something today about the GFS model being off by approx. 1000 miles in 24hrs and was made a big deal of it by another poster for no reason. Then the kiddie show began while i was gone and people got banned. NO REASON for this to continue the way it is. I am not a mean spirited person at all until i am attacked or someone else attacks someone not present that is not able to represent themselves. Funny how so many on here will attack someone without them present. Sorry, maybe WU is just right for me anymore along with many others that feel the same. Amazing the amount of emails i get telling me things. It is what it is and it is Dr. Masters park place!
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AOI

AOI

AOI

Hurricane Hunter Data

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
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, tropical cyclones are tricky to forecast. Its even so hard to tell in the next six hours how the center will track, its even turning a harder left than forecast. When it comes to details, it shows how interesting and challenging these systems can be to understand and how we are still learning about them.
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320. JLPR2
The TWs convection loosing steam, well, that was expected. :P
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Quoting RecordSeason:
265:

Multiple vortex hurricane?

Old CMC scenario? Hmmm...

Check GFS too june 27 runs
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he's tapping sumpem, very high cold cloud tops around the CDO, loop eddy under him yet?
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Quoting msgambler:
OK, there is no "pinhole eye" formiing. It is barely a Cat. 1 Hurricane.


doesn't matter if it's a cat 1, or tropical storm, it can develop a small eye rather quickly. And based on satellite, there is one forming, and it's rather small. Plus the rapid drop in pressure would definately confirm this.. then again that was hours ago
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ok, I'm back. Is Alex stalled or moving?
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Quoting msgambler:
OK, there is no "pinhole eye" formiing. It is barely a Cat. 1 Hurricane.



for all we know it could be a cat 2 by now because the pressure had a significant drop tonight... recon has not been in there for a while
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I live in SWFL and the pressure this time yesterday was around 1013mb,tonight 1015mb=the ridge is building west!!!+2mb!!!!
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What's with all the dog analogies tonight, guys? I gotta ask...





Who Let the Dogs Out?!?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
big ol blow up on south side of CDO
Yea I was about to mention that. Don't know what it means other than maybe still issues on W side, dry air I guess.
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Hurricane Alex has actually been a pretty easy forecast.. Only challenging part of Alex is the intensity. I figured 85-95mph storm and landfall around 23.5N could go .5 eigther way. Tx will get squalls, winds in squalls near TS strength and isolated tornados. Most of the sustained TS winds will be south of Brownsville with Hurricane force winds about 100 miles or more south of there. Path of Alex was forcasted 2 days ago via steering currents and reliable ECMWF on 3 days out forecast. This along with the short terms GFDL and close GFS and midlevel pattern steering made this a 23N-24N landfall in general. Nothing is 100% and for population factors out 48 hours Hurricane watches/Warnings were issued. I posted last night the warnings will be droped in the U.S. to tropical storm warnings even though the sustained windfield will be 20-35mph but squalls will bring in other factors. Chances of this making landfall in the U.S. is about 5% .. north of 25N about 25%
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310. JLPR2
297. MiamiHurricanes09 12:08 AM AST on June 30, 2010

now now, you were handling it perfectly, your age shouldn't be a problem, you're a blogger and so is he, age doesn't enter the equation.

Well, I'll just ignore that and get back to weather XD
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The radar failed, not the SFMR.
308. Asta
GOM- RAINBOW LOOP.. Amazing( requires Flash )

GOM RAINBOW- JAVA LOOP
for those with Java and no flash player
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OK, there is no "pinhole eye" formiing. It is barely a Cat. 1 Hurricane.
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OK first time poster, long time lurker (6 yrs).

The way Alex expolded off the north Yucatan coast with convective bursts, it looks like we have a player in the gulf. It sped off the coast and the angular momentum drove the COC back over land. This thing is gunna wobble guys, it has built up a very large wind field. The steering is very weak and this dog will hunt.
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big ol blow up on south side of CDO
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pin hole eye forming
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cckid:the nhc has this forecast path 100%:)
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read a book called Mother of Storms - had 'canes being spun off of outflow jets off one massive cane in the pacific - hence the title of the book.

Doubt this is happening here... only way I can see that blob doing anything is if it stalls out, and drifts back over the gulf... would need some vort though.
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298. Asta
Quoting putintang3:
what the heck are they feeding this thing?

Hot Oil? LOL! Just kidding..
Member Since: July 4, 2008 Posts: 30 Comments: 1024
Quoting JLPR2:


Tampa are you in a bad mood, I dont know, you seem a little more aggressive this year, or maybe my memory is failing me but either way, jeez really?
Who's the older person here?
I don't know. He might be attacking me because of my age but it's not like he has something called "maturity". Whatever.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting stillwaiting:
short term he may stall and wobble,but he's got no where to go but westerly,that ridge ain't budg'n in the next 24hrs..


Your marked up steering wind chart was the post of the day(#257). Very clear. Thanks.
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295. xcool
TampaSpin .hi.Alex stalla
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hey tampa! what do you think about all that is happening with alex. he looks to be stalled. also what do yu think about the steering layers? thanks in advance:)
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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.
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short term he may stall and wobble,but he's got no where to go but westerly,that ridge ain't budg'n in the next 24hrs..
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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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