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 kmanislander:
The eye can be seen in this image as the small red circle in the white CDO. Very cold cloud tops out there.



THE DREADED PINHOLE EYE!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting txsweetpea:
Hello everyone! SO what is going on with alex? I am reading some things from you guys that are making me nervous...can anyone explain?


me too......
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Wow. Have to take a look at Annie. Ah, what a season this is going to be.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Look at what is happening. This is the next steering layer. Look at the size of the weakness. Alex now at 973 and this layer is for 969. 4 more mbs down and the door opens.

Perhaps this is why it is stalled.




Wooof..

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
What link are you using? I'm on SSD and I still see stationary.
Guess I had a link failure...

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/loop_timestamp_640.asp?data_folder=rmtc/rmtcsasec5ir 404
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Quoting kmanislander:


Look at what is happening. This is the next steering layer. Look at the size of the weakness. Alex now at 973 and this layer is for 969. 4 more mbs down and the door opens.

Perhaps this is why it is stalled.

And why desperate for recon.
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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.
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Hello everyone! SO what is going on with alex? I am reading some things from you guys that are making me nervous...can anyone explain?
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Quoting hurricaster:
Wow. This storm is crazy. Pat, any memory of a storm like this. Just looking for an analog.


A supertyphoon I saw in the Pacific in the 80s near Okinawa between Sept 82-83 maybe.

Annie I believe.
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Would love to stay and play, but I've got an early day tomorrow.

I'll prolly take a quick peek around the next full advisory just to see if Alex is actually going to intensify to cat 2 in the next 6 hrs...

Good night all.
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Quoting Patrap:


Yeah u right Kman..

Cuz that Dog is off the leash


Look at what is happening. This is the next steering layer. Look at the size of the weakness. Alex now at 973 and this layer is for 969. 4 more mbs down and the door opens.

Perhaps this is why it is stalled.

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Quoting Asta:
Water vapor-
Alex looks like a 3 for 1 storm system...


The deep convection in those feeder bands bands are getting impressive!
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Quoting kmanislander:
The eye can be seen in this image as the small red circle in the white CDO. Very cold cloud tops out there.

Could be...

Thermal infrared shows it, but still very high cloud top, there:
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Wow. This storm is crazy. Pat, any memory of a storm like this. Just looking for an analog.
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I'm going to bed, wake me up if he opens his eyes
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Hey guys, at my city Monterrey 25.7N 100.1W. Do you think the forecasted track for Alex could cause us more trouble than when it was just north of the city? Which sections of the hurricane are usually the harshest ones? Thanks!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Doesn't MIMIC do a bunch of interpolation in time between obs, though?
So that would smooth out wobbles that take place in times smaller than the observation rate, but if there are no observations at specific times we wouldn't know anyways. The interpolation shouldn't introduce any false motion if they are doing it correctly, which I assume they are...Am I missing something?
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Quoting zoomiami:
by the by -- I think that this page counts as the shortest post ever by admin!

It seems like we have been tracking this for about 3 weeks now, although it couldn't possibly be that long.

If this is how the rest of the season is, its going to be verrrry long.


Evening Zoo! hope you got my mail!
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Quoting zoomiami:
by the by -- I think that this page counts as the shortest post ever by admin!

It seems like we have been tracking this for about 3 weeks now, although it couldn't possibly be that long.

If this is how the rest of the season is, its going to be verrrry long.


another record for 2010, shortest post ever by one of the doctors
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Quoting zoomiami:


I'll bite - what's the GAFF model?


I'll mail it to you :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Patrap:
Green in da Funktop is Up dere big time.



When you get a non-symmetrical blowup of convection like that, you often see big wobbles in the motion as the system becomes lopsided- like a flat tire flopping back and forth.
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168. jsit
well ok- this is wierd-----
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Quoting amd:


I think the NHC has landfall about 25 miles north of La Pesca. Since Alex today seems to be left of the forecast, La Pesca would seem to be a good chase location.


Very hard to get to La Pesca if I'm not mistaken. Pretty much straight road to Carbonera and it is only 50 miles N of La Pesca, so if Alex were 25 miles N of La Pesca then that should put Oz 25 miles in to the N side. Bout the best he can do with the time schedule he's on.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
I blew my forecast because the GAFF Model was miscalculated or overlooked.


I'll bite - what's the GAFF model?
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Huge system. We already had local flooding in central texas from interaction with outer bands. Here is current regional radar.

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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:


That's a good way of characterizing it. However, did it spin out, or is it spinning in?



EDIT:
V1 is spinning "down",,and in as thas what they do in this case, to the South the Smaller Vortex,,or the Tracker..and the V2 iz the larger one.


Were gonna sit back and watch a spell.

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163. Gorty
I think it moving WNW now.
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Quoting amd:


I think the NHC has landfall about 25 miles north of La Pesca. Since Alex today seems to be left of the forecast, La Pesca would seem to be a good chase location.


Agreed. When I was still contemplating whether I would head down into MX or not, I had been looking at areas east of San Fernando.

Though I think i'm gonna stay in the states on this one. My Mexico vehicle permit in my car expired a few months ago and is a pain in the #*# to renew - plus wont be able to use my mobile phone or cellular internet.

BTW - if your buddy is going more than 22 miles into MX, I hope he has all the documents to get that permiso for his car! :)
Member Since: September 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 74
I just got home and my jaw dropped when I saw the pressure... if winds catch up before landfall alot of people will be sweating bullets tomorrow morning
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Quoting DestinJeff:
those new CIMSS maps will be of high interest. lot banking on that high
I'm updating every 5-10 minutes. Lol.
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159. Asta
Water vapor-
Alex looks like a 3 for 1 storm system...
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Either the deep convection near center grew westward, or he is, indeed, still on the move, by the last 2 frames:
What link are you using? I'm on SSD and I still see stationary.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21109
Quoting truecajun:
We can all expect to gain at LEAST five pounds during the 2010 hurricane season due to stationary hineys.

--Forecaster truecajun

i've gained that JUST on Alex!!! LOL
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I might shouldn't be, but I am starting to get nervous.....
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Quoting kmanislander:


That ridge better build back in soon.


Yeah u right Kman..

Cuz that Dog is off the leash
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So where does Alex rank size-wise of all time Atlantic basin storms?
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Either the deep convection near center grew westward, or he is, indeed, still on the move, by the last 2 frames:
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.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Patrap:
Alex spun out a CoC just Like were seeing 2 Days ago..

..as it Faded under a Convective Blow up to its North.



That's a good way of characterizing it. However, did it spin out, or is it spinning in?
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Green in da Funktop is Up dere big time.

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Quoting Patrap:
I wanna see How the Next HH TEAL flight penetrates that sucka


That ridge better build back in soon.
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Quoting kmanislander:
The eye can be seen in this image as the small red circle in the white CDO. Very cold cloud tops out there.

Woah there it is. Too bad we don't have visible.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21109
I loaded the 10pm location in a static placefile in GRlevel3. On 0.5 degree Digital Base Reflectivity I can barely see a spin (less than 22 dBZ) at the posted coordinates (23.1n 94.8w). It's about 220 nm from the radar (KBRO) at 139 degrees.
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by the by -- I think that this page counts as the shortest post ever by admin!

It seems like we have been tracking this for about 3 weeks now, although it couldn't possibly be that long.

If this is how the rest of the season is, its going to be verrrry long.
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I wanna see How the Next HH TEAL flight penetrates that sucka
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The eye can be seen in this image as the small red circle in the white CDO. Very cold cloud tops out there.

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Quoting Skyepony:
Watching Alex on MIMIC it looks to have taken a small wobble north & back..looks west ho the last few frames.
Doesn't MIMIC do a bunch of interpolation in time between obs, though?
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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.