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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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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290. JLPR2
Quoting TampaSpin:


Good! Please do so now! Thank you!


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?
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Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Quoting CCkid00:

what is your thinking on all of this...are you with your previous forecasted landfall or with the NHC, or in between somewhere? thanks!
Are you talking about that small western ridge? If that huge eastern ridge moved west I would not be here debating.
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Alex is under some warm SST's or the loop current right now. The deep convection bursts and the wraping around the eye are showing that. He is about to really get going overnight! I hope he weekens but I see RI tonight.
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286. Asta
Member Since: July 4, 2008 Posts: 30 Comments: 1024
284. Skyepony (Mod)
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.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36177
Good evening Tampa
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Quoting RecordSeason:
265:

Multiple vortex hurricane?

Old CMC scenario? Hmmm...


LOL, now that you mention it, the CMC did call for that. Hmmmm....
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what the heck are they feeding this thing?
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kmanis:alex would have to be a cat 4 to get over that ridge...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Poof.


Good! Please do so now! Thank you!
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Quoting stillwaiting:
see the ridge building pushing alex west,blocking movement to the north,the black line is the ridge building

what is your thinking on all of this...are you with your previous forecasted landfall or with the NHC, or in between somewhere? thanks!
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Alex is getting better looking by the hour. Hopefully this stall lasts for a short while.
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So if the two storms we can think of were Katrina (05) and Charley (04), then in the last 2-3 years NHC has had an excellent record on the track.

That would lead me to believe that west is it is.

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Quoting Patrap:


If ya gonna go calamity..ya might as well go all in..
I CALL
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Evening,

I have updated my blog (link) with my latest synoptic history of Alex, you can see the complete picture of this storm's history, and all of the struggles it overcame to get to become the first Atlantic June hurricane in 15 years!

Also, please share any comments on my blog with impacts you get from Alex. Trying to get a sense of what the impacts from Alex are like, anything from oil spill issues, to direct impacts in terms of winds and rain as Alex approaches the shoreline. You can leave comments on your impacts from Alex even late tomorrow after you experienced the storm moving ashore.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
see the ridge building pushing alex west,blocking movement to the north,the black line is the ridge building
Just trying to point out minor differences. That ridge is very small, look at eastern ridge. Not a given that small ridge forces due W.
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Quoting MrNatural:
I am just amazed at the speed of that energy that came off the Yucatan and then exploded in the N GOM. Had to be moving close to 50 mph.


We've seen this type of thing on occasion before, but I can't recall seeing one speed up like this one did. It was as if something happened, but what? My guess is, Alex took his first breath of loop current air, and it was too much to handle dynamically.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
see the ridge building pushing alex west,blocking movement to the north,the black line is the ridge building


Only problem is that Alex was moving West when he stalled, not North
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting kmanislander:
I'm out for tonight. You all have a great evening.
I'm heading out too. Night Kman, night all.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
So i guess today the "ROMPER ROOM" for the kiddies took over i understand and was bashing me while others was defending me. I openly admitted of my Forecast Mistake believing in the GFS model to much.......the kiddie show that is going on in WU has made it a play ground on the blog. Some good people got banned today for no dang reason! I thank them for defending me!
Poof.
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265. Asta
Quoting duprk452:
I just logged on and I usually lurk, but I couldn't help notice that it looks like Alex spit out a kid to it's north.. is this simply a feeder band?

It does look like Alex is breeding new systems.. like Storms spawn microbursts, only these are slow and large... never seen anything like it really.. but what do I know? Anybody?
DVORAK

Member Since: July 4, 2008 Posts: 30 Comments: 1024
My latest weathertap loops shows an eye starting to form on enhanced IR imagery.
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Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
I'm out for tonight. You all have a great evening.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting Patrap:
Maybe BP's hole into Hades has sparked a Inverse Gaia reaction and now she is creating her Own Great Red Spot in the GOM.

Is the Troposphere going to Invert and send us to Oblivion ?


Hmmmmmm,....


If ya gonna go calamity..ya might as well go all in..
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SWEET!!!! Gamecocks have a National Title in one of the big three!!!
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Quoting Drakoen:


Not much. The slower Alex moves the more time it is giving for the ridge to build in the from west and guide the storm into Northern Mexico. Main reason why we have seen the models turn away from a Texas landfall is Alex's somewhat unexpected slow speed.
You can look at water vapor imagery and monitor the upper level features steering Alex.
Ok, but does ridge building explain slower motion? As ridge builds should we expect slower motion?
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Maybe BP's hole into Hades has sparked a Inverse Gaia reaction and now she is creating her Own Great Red Spot in the GOM.

Is the Troposphere going to Invert and send us to Oblivion ?


Hmmmmmm,....
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see the ridge building pushing alex west,blocking movement to the north,the black line is the ridge building
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Quoting WatchingThisOne:


Next flight is scheduled to do center fixes approx 09Z, 12Z, 15Z June 30.

Looks like we are going to miss the 06Z fix unless they send the second flight out early.
Okay thank you. Not staying up till 09Z thats for darn sure lol.
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So i guess today the "ROMPER ROOM" for the kiddies took over i understand and was bashing me while others was defending me. I openly admitted of my Forecast Mistake believing in the GFS model to much.......the kiddie show that is going on in WU has made it a play ground on the blog. Some good people got banned today for no dang reason! I thank them for defending me!
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


That convective blowup is very impressive. It will be interesting to see if that moisture continues racing NNW or wraps back around into the COC.

ok, thx
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Quoting guygee:
Well if the center was moving in a loop back to its original position, and the obs sampled at the extremes of the loop, it could show false movement. Just for an example.
Oh, I got it, just couldn't come up with it right away.

G'Nite all. Gonna have to analyze GFS/NAM extra-tropical guesswork in the AM. So far, 00 Z NAM has it well off the Atlantic coast and loose isobars near the oil spill. Good news.
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TWC was this saying thar a cold front form the N has stalled
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Quoting duprk452:
I just logged on and I usually lurk, but I couldn't help notice that it looks like Alex spit out a kid to it's north.. is this simply a feeder band?
Spit out a kid........LMFAO
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Dumb question today is the 29th.


Assistance please -- on WU tropical page looking at the model verification -- it appears that the 00z was further north, then 12z was changed to the west. Is this just for the 26th or for a longer period? Is it possible that Alex is following the 00z runs?
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Quoting atmoaggie:
At the very least, we now know that you're less tired than I...
LOL.
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I think it's nearly, if not already, stationary. And the coc movement might indicate some nw wobble in the next hours. Then likely resuming a wnw track.

Link
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giant moisture surge heading for coastal bend of TX, cloud tops are warming so its not as intense as earlier, should weaken as it gets closer to shore and away from the center
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

explain more :)


That convective blowup is very impressive. It will be interesting to see if that moisture continues racing NNW or wraps back around into the COC.
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
When will they be back?


Next flight is scheduled to do center fixes approx 09Z, 12Z, 15Z June 30.

Looks like we are going to miss the 06Z fix unless they send the second flight out early.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


Oh my....
Hmm. That one "sees" colder cloud tops for the banding structure than the center...unlike some other satellite products. Could just be the color scheme values that are different.

(Not saying this plot has anything wrong with it. And is interesting.)
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Quoting zoomiami:
For all you hurricane trivia fiends out there -- what was the last storm that missed the NHC 3 day cone?
Katrina? When near Florida.
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Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
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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.