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 Chicklit:
...so is it a typo in Dr. Carver's blog that winds are "still 90 mph?"


Yeah.
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Miami, Alex is looking good this morning. And I've got to go to the dentist. Bah!!@


me too LOL in 20 minutes :(
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...so is it a typo in Dr. Carver's blog that winds are "still 90 mph?"
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Miami, Alex is looking good this morning. And I've got to go to the dentist. Bah!!@
Hey Chicklit! Yeah Alex is looking good on satellite. Now that recon is going back into the eye this should get interesting.
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Low shear over our tropical wave, but very strong band to the west, can someone tell me if that's gonna move anytime soon?

I also looked at SAL and there's none of that near the wave either.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Pity Oz got himself banned ....
You can find him on xtremehurricanes.com and watch his live broadcast.
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1233. Asta
LINK

Member Since: July 4, 2008 Posts: 30 Comments: 1024
While still waiting for more daylight, as the vis loops are still dark, I can't discern an eye on Alex at the moment.........Anyone locate an eye yet by other means?
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Oz is on his way into Mexico this morning. His jump off point will be San Fernando.
I am looking forward to his broadcast and pray he stays safe. He is a little too daredevil for me but I guess if he enjoys it that is the main thing.
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Hi Miami, Alex is looking good this morning. And I've got to go to the dentist. Bah!!@
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Well, I gotta go. I got a bit of a break in there, but now I have work to do....

L8r, all. Sure hope that 30K in 24 hr prediction doesn't pan out....
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1225. Asta
Morning All!

Member Since: July 4, 2008 Posts: 30 Comments: 1024
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Oz is on his way into Mexico this morning. His jump off point will be San Fernando.


I hope he brought fins.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Well, I like trains, but I'm thinkin' this isn't one I'm in a hurry to catch....

Zing! (As Atmo would say.)

Good one rofl
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Recon going back into the eye and eyewall of Alex.
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This is about the best from ghcc website, and it's about 4 hrs. old....

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Fearsome stuff.

Still waiting for an update on this from 4 a.m.

VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO REMAIN LIGHT UP UNTIL LANDFALL OCCURS IN ABOUT 24 HOURS. GIVEN THAT ALEX IS ALSO MOVING SLOWLY OVER SOME OF THE WARMEST UPPER-OCEAN HEAT CONTENT IN THAT REGION OF THE GULF OF MEXICO...STEADY STRENGTHENING RIGHT UP UNTIL LANDFALL SEEMS REASONABLE. HOWEVER...GIVEN THE RELATIVELY LOW CENTRAL PRESSURE RECENTLY MEASURED BY THE RECON AIRCRAFT...RAPID INTENSIFICATION OF AT LEAST 30 KT IN 24 HOURS IS A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Oz is on his way into Mexico this morning. His jump off point will be San Fernando.


Lots of drug violence down there, he needs to keep a low profile. They just killed the governor candidate.
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Quoting Chicklit:
...TROPICAL WAVES...

TROPICAL WAVE EXTENDS FROM 05N26W TO 17N25W MOVING W AT 15-20 KT. THE WAVE LIES WEST OF THE LEADING EDGE OF A DEEP LAYER MOISTURE MAXIMUM EVIDENT IN TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY. CYCLONIC CURVATURE IS ALSO NOTED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY ABOUT THE WAVE AXIS IN THE LOW-LEVEL CLOUD FIELD BETWEEN 23W-30W. ISOLATED MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM 02N-11N BETWEEN 23W-30W.



Hi Baha, and there's one behind that too.
Looks like the CV Wave Train is running a little bit ahead of schedule.
Well, I like trains, but I'm thinkin' this isn't one I'm in a hurry to catch....
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Another 2mb when reach the eye so next pass 957mb or 956mb. Incredible remind me IKE
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Touche for Joe B. then on this one (but a lucky guess)......
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Re: 1208 Chicklit

Geez, it's still not quite off the coast, is it? This looks like it might remain robust enough to be a player in 7-10 days....
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Morning, wxman... MUO forecast seems to change on a weekly basis, so I'm not quite sure what to expect the next couple of weeks. Last week we were supposed to be in a quiet mode until about Jul 20; however, yesterday somebody posted lastest analysis and forecast which showed continued upward motion of MJO for almost all of the first 2 decades of the month.... everything else seems to be conducive for formation, though the ITCZ is still relatively low....


If I recall correctly, D. M was expecting an uptick in the MJO, which coincided with with Alex, and we need to keep an eye on that feature over the next several weeks. Next big factor I am looking at right now, independent of potential activity in July, is the current position of the Bermuda High. If it "sets" for the Summer in the current general location (although it will shift a bit during the peak of the season), there appears to be a "bee-line" from Africa to the Antilles right now. If this general pattern holds as the ITCZ rises, and La Nina unfolds in August, I think we will see the CV tracks, as compared to Alex, gain latitude and the next CV storms (in late July going into August)will have a much better shot at a Florida or Central Gulf landfall.....Time will tell.
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...TROPICAL WAVES...

TROPICAL WAVE EXTENDS FROM 05N26W TO 17N25W MOVING W AT 15-20 KT. THE WAVE LIES WEST OF THE LEADING EDGE OF A DEEP LAYER MOISTURE MAXIMUM EVIDENT IN TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY. CYCLONIC CURVATURE IS ALSO NOTED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY ABOUT THE WAVE AXIS IN THE LOW-LEVEL CLOUD FIELD BETWEEN 23W-30W. ISOLATED MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM 02N-11N BETWEEN 23W-30W.



Hi Baha, and there's one behind that too.
Looks like the CV Wave Train is running a little bit ahead of schedule.
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Pity Oz got himself banned ....
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new page, new link.... still not showing much.
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Oz is on his way into Mexico this morning. His jump off point will be San Fernando.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


I think he meant inside the actual system lol
LOL.... well, this is about the only spot where I've seen the # called recently... though there was a dropsonde earlier with 89mph near the surface around 5a.m.....
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000
WTNT31 KNHC 301140
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
HURRICANE ALEX INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 19A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
700 AM CDT WED JUN 30 2010

...ALEX MOVING IN NO HURRY......


SUMMARY OF 700 AM CDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.4N 95.3W
ABOUT 155 MI...250 KM E OF LA PESCA MEXICO
ABOUT 220 MI...355 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...959 MB...28.32 INCHES

The storm is expected to strengthen until landfall.
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1202. IKE
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


I think he meant inside the actual system lol


Yeah...I was saying that based off recon.
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1201. 7544
wow just checked on alex before i came here who gave him wheaties or special k . as he gets bigger today the triof coming down would this change his direction . as bigger storm steers where tia morning xcool

btwn are u ready looks like he moved further north than expected this am . swtay safe there
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1200. IKE
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Joey B. said it would prolly be a cane threatening Mexico or Texas over a week ago.
He wins in my opinion.


Whenever I read his thoughts...StormW's and the NHC...I knew I was in the clear personally.

That seems like a week ago. Move Alex!
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1199. amd
A couple of thoughts:

Looks like those who thought that Alex would try to move north as it near the coast were correct.

I am amazed that there has only been one report of winds > 70 kts in a sub 960mbs system. Hopefully it stays that way, but I have my doubts. Why? Alex is no longer creating its own dry air. We need the big bands to form well away from the center like it did the 1st two days to create subsidence between the bands and the COC. Instead, just about all of the action is at the core, and there is only one pocket of drier air left for Alex to mix out, and it is just east of the eye. Also, the latest vortex had a 6 degree difference between the air in and outside the eye. That is a sign of a well-organized core.
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Chick, what did they say about the EATL wave we were looking at yesterday?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
SUMMARY OF 700 AM CDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.4N 95.3W
ABOUT 155 MI...250 KM E OF LA PESCA MEXICO
ABOUT 220 MI...355 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...959 MB...28.32 INCHES

Here.


I think he meant inside the actual system lol
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Morning. There was some debate over the past several weeks with some folks "predicting" that we would have no storms in June, and, others predicting that we would have up to two in June, and, I believe that Dr. M and the models, last week, stated that Alex would not reach hurricane strength......Don't know who "won" the debate because Mother Nature sets the stage, and we merely observe, but we got our first June Hurricane since 1995. Rest of the tropics quiet however this morning so potential July activity, again, is up for grabs.



Joey B. said it would prolly be a cane threatening Mexico or Texas over a week ago.
He wins in my opinion.
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http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42055

Blowing harder now than when Alex was closer....

42- 54knts! over 100 miles from center.
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Quoting P451:
Good Morning.

96HRs of Alex: June 26 645AM - June 30 645AM.
Water vapor imagery. 1 frame per hour.





Link to second posting of image when bandwidth runs out on first posting.

Remarkable left turn there..... must have been shocking to the eastcasters....
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Quoting TankHead93:
How do you know that? you psychic or something? lol


It was sort of an exaggeration, but honestly over the next week I don't see much. We may get a yellow, but I don't see much activity in the first week of July. Which is normal. In fact, we're already well ahead of schedule, because we're not supposed to have our first hurricane until August 10th. Link Scroll down to table 1.
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Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

000
AXNT20 KNHC 301145
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT WED JUN 30 2010


BASED ON 0600 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH
1015 UTC...

...SPECIAL FEATURES...

HURRICANE ALEX IS CENTERED NEAR 23.4N 95.3W AT 30/1200 UTC OR ABOUT 155 MILES E OF LA PESCA MEXICO AND ABOUT 220 MILES SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS MOVING W-NW AT 06 KT. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 961 MB. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND SPEED IS 70 KT WITH GUSTS TO 85 KT. NUMEROUS MODERATE AND SCATTERED STRONG CONVECTION ARE FROM 19N-25N BETWEEN 92W-98W.
NUMEROUS MODERATE AND ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION ARE OVER THE NW GULF FROM 25N-31N BETWEEN 89W-98W. SEE LATEST NHC INTERMEDIATE PUBLIC ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS
MIATCPAT1/WTNT31 KNHC AND THE FULL FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCMAT1/WTNT21 KNHC FOR MORE DETAILS.



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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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