Alex, strongest June hurricane in 44 years, is now a tropical storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:20 PM GMT on July 01, 2010

Share this Blog
5
+

Hurricane Alex, the strongest June hurricane in 44 years, is Tropical Storm Alex, thanks to passage over the rugged terrain of Mexico. Alex made landfall at 9pm CDT last night, 110 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, as a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds. Alex was the strongest June hurricane since Hurricane Alma of 1966, which had 125 mph winds as it skirted the west coast of Florida. Brownsville long-range radar shows that Alex's heavy rains continue to pound the Texas/Mexico border region, and satellite estimates of rainfall (Figure 1) show that some of Alex's spiral bands dumped rains in excess of five inches today, in addition to the 5+ inches that fell yesterday. The Brownsville airport received 6.46" of rain as of 8am CDT today from Alex. Alex is being blamed for at least thirteen deaths in Central America and Mexico due to flooding, though none of these deaths occurred in the region where the storm made landfall. Alex spawned two tornadoes that hit South Texas, and there were at least four other reports of tornado funnel clouds that did not touch ground. Alex may continue to spawn isolated tornadoes today over South Texas and northern Mexico.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated rainfall so far today for Alex.


Figure 2. Snapshot of the Brownsville long-range radar showing Hurricane Alex at landfall at 8pm CDT Wednesday June 30, 2010.


Figure 3. Alex nearing landfall in northeastern Mexico at 12:10 CDT June 30, 2010, as seen by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite. Image credit: NASA.

Storm Surge
Alex's maximum storm surge occurred along a 50-mile stretch of the Mexican coast centered about 75 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. The National Hurricane Center Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model predicted that the maximum water depth at the coast reached about 5 - 6 feet above ground level (Figure 3.) A storm surge of 1 - 2 feet was predicted by SLOSH for the Brownsville, Texas region. A storm surge of about 2 feet was observed in South Texas at the South Padre Island Coast Guard Station and Port Isabel.


Figure 4. Hurricane Alex's Maximum Water Depth (storm tide minus the elevation of the land it is passing over) computed using the primary computer model used by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to forecast storm surge--the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model. The accuracy of the SLOSH model is advertised as plus or minus 20%. The maximum surge occurred to the right of where Alex's core made landfall, over a sparsely populated marshy area. This "Maximum Water Depth" image shows the water depth at each grid cell of the SLOSH domain. Thus, if you are inland at an elevation of five feet above mean sea level, and the combined storm surge and tide (the "storm tide") is ten feet at your location, the water depth image will show five feet of inundation. For more information on storm surge, consult our detailed storm surge pages.

Alex in historical context
Alex is the first June hurricane since Hurricane Allison of 1995. There have been only eleven hurricanes in May or June since 1945; only four of these were major Category 3 or higher storms.

Alex's bizarre behavior
Alex had several rather remarkable features I've never seen in a hurricane. Firstly, it underwent an eyewall replacement cycle as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Usually, we don't see the inner eyewall collapse and an eyewall replacement cycle occur until a hurricane reaches Category 3 strength. I've seen it happen on occasion to a Category 2 storm, but never a Category 1. Secondly, after Alex's inner 9-mile diameter eyewall collapsed at 10am EDT yesterday morning, an outer spiral band began to become the new eyewall. Winds in this outer spiral band/new eywall increased as the day progressed, as typically happens in an eyewall replacement cycle. However, part way through that process, Alex suddenly reversed course, and was able to build a small inner eyewall with a 12-mile diameter that was completed by landfall. I've never seen a hurricane change its mind in the middle of an eyewall replacement cycle and build an inner eyewall so fast. Finally, Alex had an unusually weak winds, considering how low the pressure was. The pressure was more typical of a hurricane one Saffir-Simpson category stronger than what the surface winds suggested.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The latest run of the NOGAPS model predicts the formation of a tropical depression the Western Caribbean on Tuesday. None of the other models is showing tropical development worthy of concern over the coming seven days.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
Alex is continuing to generate very rough conditions over the Deepwater Horizon blowout location, with 5 - 9 foot waves and 3 - 4 foot swells. The wind and seas will gradually subside today, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting currents induced by Alex's strong winds will push oil to many protected bays and estuaries that haven't seen oil yet. The latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana show oil will also move westward along the central Louisiana coast towards the Texas border. Winds will decrease to 5 - 15 knots Friday through Tuesday but remain mostly out of the southeast, keeping the pressure on the regions of coast in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi that are seeing oil hit their shores this week.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
Map of oil spill location from the NOAA Satellite Services Division
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA's interactive mapping tool to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Next post
I'll have an update Friday morning. Dr. Rob Carver plans on summarizing Alex in his blog later today.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Alex (LRandyB)
Weather inbound to Hurricane Alex.
Hurricane Alex

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1593 - 1543

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

Quoting JLPR2:


And you have a slight problem with the C and S's :P
(Ubicación)
I'm not bad with the ''tildes'' but not awesome either XD
He said las tildes, when it should be los tildes.

LOL, that reminds me all the conversations that I've had with Grothar in spanish.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1591. JLPR2
Quoting TampaSpin:


I am cool....about him! Heck not many kids his age knows half what he does.


Yeah, but chill, have you seen Drak And Levi?
They usually dont agree with each other but the discussion is even enjoyable ^^
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL! I can name hundreds and I've only been here since last September.


I remember the original JFV would always be so worried about CV storms and apparently had a wife/girlfriend or whatever she was who was pregnant and would constantly freak out about that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anyone concerned about what's going on in Monterrey? It is still raining there.





Look how the storms just line up along the mountains. Orographic lifting in its prime.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:
Have you all looked the BP oil head! Its getting some major problems it appears! PatRap and i had a conversation about it a few days ago and now it seems it is really starting to fall over even more......it was leaning 12deg before and its even worse now it appears!


Lets face it, were done. They have no control of that well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1586. JLPR2
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Okay Dr. Phil...


Haha! XD
Bring Oprah too while you're at it LOL!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
this it the offical RIP of Alex

...ALEX DISSIPATES OVER THE MOUNTAINS OF CENTRAL MEXICO...

10:00 PM CDT Thu Jul 1
Location: 23.3°N 102.4°W
Max sustained: 30 mph
Moving: W at 12 mph
Min pressure: 1000 mb
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1584. JLPR2
Quoting BermudaHigh:


JP, I write SPN exceptionally well, my only problem regarding it, is ''la ubicasion de las tildes'', you know? I seriously dislike that! Are you good at that? LOL, :(.


And you have a slight problem with the C and S's :P
(Ubicación)
I'm not bad with the ''tildes'' but not awesome either XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You get that e-mail Tim
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm not going to talk about this anymore.
Very sensible. You really won't learn anything by bickering and you are a welcome addition to the blog so as the good book says, turn the other cheek and do what you so best. Analyze and voice your opinion on what is going on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


Not like their very elaborate names...LOL
LOL! I can name hundreds and I've only been here since last September.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


Pure luck lol. For every storm he forecasted correctly, there are probably 5 or 6 more he got wrong.

Haha, no kidding! Still, that was something else. I had been lurking on this site for less than a month when that all happened. It was amazing to follow. He ended up being off like 10 miles on the track and didn't predict the weakening down from category 5 down to 3 prior to landfall (although the 5 surge was still there) from his original forecast prior to landfall in Miami. That instantly raised him from troll to blog legend.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


Not like their very elaborate names...LOL


LOL!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Have you all looked the BP oil head! Its getting some major problems it appears! PatRap and i had a conversation about it a few days ago and now it seems it is really starting to fall over even more......it was leaning 12deg before and its even worse now it appears!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLdewey:
So BermudaHigh (JFV) how do you come up with the new names each time you re-register? Do you have the next one picked out already or is it a fly by the seat of the pants sort of thing?


Not like their very elaborate names...LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1576. xcool
ha
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting btwntx08:

i do have a laptop just that i dodnt charge it so i couldnt get on



oh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


Ugh JFV please go away. It's not helping!
LMAO! I've always wondered how many people actually make usernames just to pretend to be JFV.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BermudaHigh:
Guys, just try to get along with one another, PRETTY PLEASE? LOL, :). Come on now.


Okay Dr. Phil...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Rideculous, -_-.


You havn't seen his car!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


I am cool....about him! Heck not many kids his age knows half what he does.
Not many adults either. And I'm one of them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BermudaHigh:
Guys, just try to get along with one another, PRETTY PLEASE? LOL, :). Come on now.


Ugh JFV please go away. It's not helping!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SevereHurricane:


I know Tim. I don't like it either when others repeat my analysis as their own on other sites.


Now no one would do that would they?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BermudaHigh:
Guys, just try to get along with one another, PRETTY PLEASE? LOL, :). Come on now.


I am cool....about him! Heck not many kids his age knows half what he does.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1900hurricane:
Tru


It's definitlely close, but I don't think anything can outdo the blind luck that STORMTOP had for Katrina. I don't think this blog will ever forget that.


Pure luck lol. For every storm he forecasted correctly, there are probably 5 or 6 more he got wrong.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


Dude you post something it seems against every post i put up.....just what it seems.
I'm not going to talk about this anymore.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:
Treat others they way you want to be treated, no matter how old they are. May be a corny saying but it works.
Tru

Quoting extreme236:
I hate to say it, but I think JFV has outdone the STORMTOP/STROMTOP/stormkat/debbykat/hurrikat series.

It's definitlely close, but I don't think anything can outdo the blind luck that STORMTOP had for Katrina. I don't think this blog will ever forget that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
The low is weak but evident east of Tallahassee on radar.




Looks like the "spurious" low pressure the GFS has been showing is coming together after all.

Man the NWS has been bashing the development of a low pressure by the GFS for a few days...

I'm surprised though, because with water temps in the upper 80's, lots of a deep convection in an extremely moist 2.2 to 2.7 PW air mass around a trough of low pressure are all good signs of low pressure development. This happens around Florida and the gulf coast every year. Plus its the wet season.

Whatever the case, the NWS is gonna have to stop bashing the GFS, cause the GFS is beginning to verify for a very, very soggy July 4th weekend in Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Torgen:


How's he supposed to get online with the power out??



you can still get on line when power is out i have a few times
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Hey I have no problem stopping, I have nothing against Tampaspin, but to constantly attack me because of my age does begin to get annoying. Now please, let's move on.


Dude you post something it seems against every post i put up.....just what it seems.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SevereHurricane:


I know Tim. I don't like it either when others repeat my analysis as their own on other sites.


i no how you feel
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1556. Torgen
Quoting Tazmanian:



why not buy a laptop so you have a back up when the power gos out on your deskstop


How's he supposed to get online with the power out??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


This is what i posted earlier today for you all to see..


I know Tim. I don't like it either when others repeat my analysis as their own on other sites.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting btwntx08:
hey all ike was right about yesterday i lost power at 7 pm till 5 pm today im glad its back on



why not buy a laptop so you have a back up when the power gos out on your deskstop
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


That wasn't meant to be a hit towards you or Tampa or anything, but was meant to be more of a joke...lol
Oh, LOL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:
I don't know whats worse, the TS and Miami fighting, or JFV constantly showing up on here under different handles pretending like nothing ever happened.


Just imagine if we had all of that going on at the same time plus Stormtop! It would be the perfect storm!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:
Nice little spin at 850mb just on Shore near the Panhandle....don't know if that is the thing the GFS and CMC is showing or not....







This is what i posted earlier today for you all to see..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Hey I have no problem stopping, I have nothing against Tampaspin, but to constantly attack me because of my age does begin to get annoying. Now please, let's move on.


That wasn't meant to be a hit towards you or Tampa or anything, but was meant to be more of a joke...lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLdewey:
Casting hook...




That shower curtain is really effective. It's a very effective poncho.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Evening Everyone
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
last public advisory every wave by to alex
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:
I don't know whats worse, the TS and Miami fighting, or JFV constantly showing up on here under different handles pretending like nothing ever happened.
Hey I have no problem stopping, I have nothing against Tampaspin, but to constantly attack me because of my age does begin to get annoying. Now please, let's move on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:
I hate to say it, but I think JFV has outdone the STORMTOP/STROMTOP/stormkat/debbykat/hurrikat series.


I think so too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1593 - 1543

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
28 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron