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

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

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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

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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: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting FLdewey:
Casting hook...





reported
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1538. Oh brother.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
I hate to say it, but I think JFV has outdone the STORMTOP/STROMTOP/stormkat/debbykat/hurrikat series.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


No problem Taz. You just keep on spaying those trolls.




ok
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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.
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1536. Titoxd
000
WTNT31 KNHC 020232
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION ALEX ADVISORY NUMBER 26
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
1000 PM CDT THU JUL 01 2010

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


SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.3N 102.4W
ABOUT 35 MI...55 KM...NNE OF ZACATECAS MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...30 MPH...45 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 275 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...THE REMNANTS OF ALEX WERE CENTERED NEAR
LATITUDE 23.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 102.4 WEST. THE REMNANTS ARE MOVING
TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION
WILL CONTINUE OVERNIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 30 MPH...45 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF ALEX WILL CONTINUE TO
DECREASE OVERNIGHT.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1000 MB...29.53 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...THE REMNANTS OF ALEX ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL
RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ACROSS PORTIONS OF NORTHERN
AND CENTRAL MEXICO. ISOLATED STORM-TOTAL AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES ARE
POSSIBLE OVER THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO. THESE
RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...
ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

THE REMNANTS OF ALEX ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL
RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN
TEXAS...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM STORM-TOTAL AMOUNTS OF AROUND 12
INCHES. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER ON THIS SYSTEM. PLEASE REFER TO PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THE
HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER AND LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE FORECAST OFFICES FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE
POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING.

$$
FORECASTER BERG

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Quoting Tazmanian:



thank you sir


No problem Taz. You just keep on spaying those trolls.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Treat others they way you want to be treated, no matter how old they are. May be a corny saying but it works.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Yes, you two need to learn to just get along or ignore each other. Both of you add to the blog in your own way. Don't get banned.
Everyone on my ignore list was taken off and I emailed admin several times. When I went to put them back, they automatically come off.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Yes, you two need to learn to just get along or ignore each other. Both of you add to the blog in your own way. Don't get banned.



thank you sir
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Quoting extreme236:


Okay, Tampa this is getting to be ridiculous. I usually don't have a problem with your posts but, your constantly picking on Miami for absolutely no reason. Just because he is only 13 doesn't mean he is just another dumb kid. I don't see him going around laughing at people's posts and "OMG"ing everything.


Yes, you two need to learn to just get along or ignore each other. Both of you add to the blog in your own way. Don't get banned.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
am king of the rock
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You have mail Tim
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Taz, are you JFV?


lol
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1526. Levi32
Quoting BermudaHigh:
Levi, by when are you anticipating 95L to eb declared?


Not a call that can be made at this time. All I can say is that development, if any, in the NE gulf will likely wait until 3-4 days from now to occur.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659
Quoting Tazmanian:



nevere mine lol your not him


Taz, are you JFV?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting TampaSpin:


HELP ME PLEASE! I thought my children was all grown up. I come in here and find more to overcome! LOL
I gave up several days ago. School can't start soon enough.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


HELP ME PLEASE! I thought my children was all grown up. I come in here and find more to overcome! LOL


Okay, Tampa this is getting to be ridiculous. I usually don't have a problem with your posts but, your constantly picking on Miami for absolutely no reason. Just because he is only 13 doesn't mean he is just another dumb kid. I don't see him going around laughing at people's posts and "OMG"ing everything.
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1520. Levi32
Quoting TampaSpin:


When i posted the Vorticity map today i said it was just off the Coast.....just off the Coast i guess for some was a poor choice of words as the Coast is where the land and sea meet in my mind.....i have said just off the Coast many times to mean Inland also....


Ok well for future reference, "off the coast" means the water side. It is never used to refer to inland.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659
Quoting BermudaHigh:


Rideculous, -_-.



JFV when the Admin banned you why cant you stay banned you no its in the rules if you are on 24 hr banned you need too NOT make other ID
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Quoting Tazmanian:



nevere mine lol your not him
I was about to name the people you could ask who I was. No offense taken though.
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1516. xcool
1514. TampaSpin 2:
lol
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Quoting BermudaHigh:


Rideculous, -_-.


It's "ridiculous"
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Quoting msgambler:
Evening Tim


HELP ME PLEASE! I thought my children was all grown up. I come in here and find more to overcome! LOL
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It is STILL raining in Monterrey! I wonder how much that area has seen so far.....

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So models aren't showing a system in the next 7 days except 1? I saw on the florida hurricane website that according to records the chance for getting 16 storms or more is slim if we don't get a second storm by this first week of july.

I'm not trying to pop any bubbles, but the records don't lie!
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Quoting TampaSpin:


OMG.....LOL
Of course you agree with Levi and admitting that you did say it was off the coast, but with me you laugh. Very funny.
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We need school to start and the Rays to make the playoffs .... now!!!
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Quoting msgambler:
Who are you calling JFV?



nevere mine lol your not him
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I have not said anything that this area was subtropical, and you could go down the pages and revise that. Also you checked the buoys, obviously thinking that it was over water. And you also said that it was off of the coast earlier today.


OMG.....LOL
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1505. xcool
cut the B====
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Quoting Tazmanian:


JFV?
Who are you calling JFV?
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Quoting TampaSpin:


When i posted the Vorticity map today i said it was just off the Coast.....just off the Coast i guess for some was a poor choice of words as the Coast is where the land and sea meet in my mind.....i have said just off the Coast many times to mean Inland also....
Then don't tell me I'm lying.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


NO I DID NOT! I never said the low was over water. I said i checked all the Bouys and could not find anything. You was the one saying it was sub-tropical and i said its not anything until it forms. There is nothing there yet KID.
I have not said anything that this area was subtropical, and you could go down the pages and revise that. Also you checked the buoys, obviously thinking that it was over water. And you also said that it was off of the coast earlier today.
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Quoting Levi32:


Dude chill. Yes you did.



When i posted the Vorticity map today i said it was just off the Coast.....just off the Coast i guess for some was a poor choice of words as the Coast is where the land and sea meet in my mind.....i have said just off the Coast many times to mean Inland also....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1500. Levi32
Quoting Tazmanian:




may be 95L?


Not yet.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659
Quoting msgambler:
Evening Tim


JFV?
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1498. xcool
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Quoting Levi32:
The low is weak but evident east of Tallahassee on radar.





may be 95L?
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Evening Tim
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1494. Levi32
Quoting TampaSpin:


NO I DID NOT! I never said the low was over water. I said i checked all the Bouys and could not find anything. You was the one saying it was sub-tropical and i said its not anything until it forms. There is nothing there yet KID.


Dude chill. Yes you did.

Quoting TampaSpin:


I posted today the Vorticity of the 850mb area just off the coast earlier today.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659
1493. Levi32
Quoting portcharlotte:
We had teletypes going all the time. No computers, no models to look at, just fax charts that you hung on the wall. We received 3 satellite pictures a day from the fax machine.



That would be cool to be limited to that sometime....computers mess a lot of things up about forecasting.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659

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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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