Alex is gone; the tropics are relatively quiet

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:55 PM GMT on July 02, 2010

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Hurricane Alex is gone, killed by the high mountains of northern Mexico. Alex's rains linger on, and will continue to cause flooding problems in northern Mexico today. Alex killed at least 24 people in its week-long traverse of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. One death occurred in the Dominican Republic, and fourteen were killed in Central America. In Mexico, the outer rainbands of the storm killed three in Acapulco, one person in Oaxaca, and one person in Chiapas. Following its final landfall, Alex caused at least eight deaths in Nuevo León, with three persons reported missing. It is possible Alex will have its named retired, though I think it unlikely. One of the countries substantially affected by a hurricane must make a request to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to have the hurricane's name required. Mexico was the country most affected by Alex, and Mexico has been reluctant to make retirement requests in the past. For example, Mexico suffered two landfalls from Category 5 Hurricane Emily in 2005, yet did not request that Emily's name be retired; there will be a new storm named Emily next year.

I hope Alex will give the officials in charge of the BP oil disaster a bit of a wake up call. We've been told that five days are required to shut down operations in the event of tropical storm force winds are forecast for the clean-up region. It is very unrealistic to expect a five day warning, since the average track error in a 5-day forecast is about 300 miles. Furthermore, we have little skill forecasting the formation of tropical storms, and it is often the case that a tropical storm forms just a 1-day journey from the Deepwater Horizon blowout location. If we examine the incidence of tropical storm force winds in that region over the past five years, I suspect that they were successfully predicted five days in advance perhaps 30% of the time.


Figure 1. Microwave satellite image of Alex at landfall. Image credit: Navy Research Lab.

The tropics are relatively quiet
A cold front that pushed off the Southeastern U.S. and Gulf Coast has stalled out over the waters immediately offshore. Some of the models give support for an area of weak low pressure to develop over the northern Gulf of Mexico along this front. NHC is giving a 10% chance of a tropical depression forming by 8am Sunday over the northern Gulf of Mexico. The GFS model is also indicating development may occur by the middle of next week along the portion of the front offshore from South Carolina. There is also some suggestion by several models that a strong tropical disturbance may form by the middle of next week in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche, or in the Western Caribbean. At this point, none of these possibilities are worthy of significant concern, though we'll keep to keep an eye on them.

I'll have an update Saturday afternoon. Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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2614. CybrTeddy
6:16 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
ECMWF has development in 120 hours. The 8th, or Thursday.

Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24726
2613. AstroHurricane001
6:13 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm more interested with this wave that has an inverted V signature.



Also the tropical wave in the central Caribbean looks suspicious for some possible "mischief".


What does an inverted V signature indicate? I think this is the same storm, or part of it that had the swirl over Africa.


Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yeah some cyclonic rotation can be noted along the axis so something is definitely cooking in there. Should be interesting to see what happens once it makes it into the Caribbean.


Probably from the merger of two disturbances, both helped by Alex.

Quoting ackee:
NEXT weeks looks very intresting might see Bonnie and colin question what steering pattern set up for next weeks ? look like WE MAY see more Ivan and felix like track if any thing does form CV WAVE


I'd like to see Colin retired so they can replace it with Clyde. Bonnie and Clyde.

Quoting Chicklit:
Hi good afternoon.

Triangulation


Caribbean system appears to be heading for Jamaica.

Quoting extreme236:


Might still be hope for 95L, huh?


Notice they said subtropical. Gulf Stream systems do that sometimes.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2839
2612. Hhunter
6:11 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2974
2611. MiamiHurricanes09
6:10 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
The upper level ridge currently developing adjacent to the SW Caribbean is forecasted to begin to advect with the tropical wave by the central Caribbean as per the GFS 12z 200-850mb vertical shear forecast. At this point in time, 60 hours, the tropical wave is over the Yucatan and here you can see the anticyclone there too.

GFS 12z 200-850mb vertical shear forecast.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2610. sarahjola
6:08 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
taz- your a man of few words today:) happy 4th
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1294
2609. aspectre
6:06 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
NEW BLOG

It'd be even odder to think that IKE pre-dated Eisenhower before he met Mamie.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
2608. AllStar17
6:06 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
2607. Inactivity
6:06 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Wind shear and dry air letting up after 60 hours.Could allow 95 L to become a weak TS or TD.
Member Since: June 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
2606. MiamiHurricanes09
6:04 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting extreme236:


Might still be hope for 95L, huh?
I think there still is.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2605. Hhunter
6:04 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting kputerman26:

The one near Jamaica?=?
yes
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2974
2603. MiamiHurricanes09
6:03 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Some broad cyclonic turning is evident on MIMIC-TPW with the wave in the central Caribbean. If convection continues to persist I expect it to earn recognition from the NHC sometime within the next 24 hours.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2602. Skyepony (Mod)
6:02 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
& they're off & racing..In the model quest to see who can best project 95L.. AEMN (National Weather Service Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS)~GFS fed) & AVNO starts well with 25.8nm error after the 1st day.. the rest have done not so well.. NOGAPS 59, CMC 77, BAMD 117, OFCL 139, BAMM & LGEM 146, LBAR 169, CLP5 203.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 270 Comments: 40515
2601. extreme236
6:01 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting IKE:
ALTHOUGH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE CURRENTLY INHIBITING
DEVELOPMENT...A SMALL RELAXATION OF THESE WINDS COULD RESULT IN
BETTER ORGANIZATION OF THE SYSTEM. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.




Hmmm.


Might still be hope for 95L, huh?
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2599. sarahjola
6:01 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lol, ok I'm going big time overboard with the invest predictions, but I'll tell you were I think we'll see 99L out of. The wave circled in pink below is turned into a hurricane in the Caribbean by the CMC so it has to be worth mentioning. Ughhh, tinypic isn't working but the wave just west of the African coast is the one I'm talking about.


nice how fast is it moving?:)
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1294
2598. AkuAnakTimur
5:59 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Hope this helps.

JMA

Quoting AussieStorm:
Anyone know where i can get a similar map of the WPAC?



Member Since: November 9, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
2597. IKE
5:59 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
ALTHOUGH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE CURRENTLY INHIBITING
DEVELOPMENT...A SMALL RELAXATION OF THESE WINDS COULD RESULT IN
BETTER ORGANIZATION OF THE SYSTEM. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.




Hmmm.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
2595. Chicklit
5:57 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Hi good afternoon.

Triangulation
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11447
2594. MiamiHurricanes09
5:54 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting Tazmanian:




oh cool so 96L 97L and may be 98L so what about 99L
Lol, ok I'm going big time overboard with the invest predictions, but I'll tell you were I think we'll see 99L out of. The wave circled in pink below is turned into a hurricane in the Caribbean by the CMC so it has to be worth mentioning. Ughhh, tinypic isn't working but the wave just west of the African coast is the one I'm talking about.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2590. ackee
5:51 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
NEXT weeks looks very intresting might see Bonnie and colin question what steering pattern set up for next weeks ? look like WE MAY see more Ivan and felix like track if any thing does form CV WAVE
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1376
2589. MrstormX
5:51 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Its odd to think that the member "Ike" actually predated the retired, Hurricane Ike.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4453
2587. pcbsmokey
5:51 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Pat? Did you follow that link on the ASCAT page to the experiemental coastal viewer? Cool, if it works!

Link
Member Since: June 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 38
2586. srada
5:50 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
I dont buy into the new england cmc scenario..isnt the bermuda high supposed to be sitting over the midatlantic states?
Member Since: August 17, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 774
2585. AllBoardedUp
5:50 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting Tazmanian:




oh cool so 96L 97L and may be 98L so what about 99L
Sure makes planning a summer vacation with the kids a real headache. Even if we go somewhere a storm won't affect the travel plans (interior US) I still have to leave my house unsecured, etc.
Member Since: July 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
2583. kputerman26
5:49 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting Hhunter:
this may be the carribean energy to watch

The one near Jamaica?=?
2582. CybrTeddy
5:49 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Which Ike? Hurricane Ike, the IKE scale, Ike Eisenhower, or the blogger Ike?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24726
2581. dearmas
5:48 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
so much fr us being the SunShine state, its been soooo ugly all week, Im in Wesley Chapel
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 121
2578. MiamiHurricanes09
5:45 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Who called 20% earlier??

Salute!
IKE called it and then I jumped on board with the idea.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2577. MiamiHurricanes09
5:45 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting Tazmanian:



where would we see 97L??
I think we could see an invest out of all 3 of these systems:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2576. AllBoardedUp
5:44 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting Tazmanian:



IKE
Wasn't it a 10 percent chance on the update this morning? Trending in the wrong direction.
Member Since: July 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
2574. AllBoardedUp
5:41 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Looked at local radar (Galveston) this morning, looked good for a quick trip to Home Depot. Fed and dressed the kids and right before we ready to go out the door we hear rain drops hitting the driveway. A real turd floater too! Looks to be hit and miss over here for next several days.
Member Since: July 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
2570. PensacolaDoug
5:40 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Who called 20% earlier??

Salute!
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 766
2568. MiamiHurricanes09
5:39 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
000
ABNT20 KNHC 031738
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT SAT JUL 3 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A NON-TROPICAL AREA OF
LOW PRESSURE HAVE INCREASED A LITTLE TODAY. THE LOW IS LOCATED
ABOUT 165 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND
IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE MOVING SLOWLY ON A GENERAL WESTWARD TRACK.
ALTHOUGH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE CURRENTLY INHIBITING
DEVELOPMENT...A SMALL RELAXATION OF THESE WINDS COULD RESULT IN
BETTER ORGANIZATION OF THE SYSTEM. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20
PERCENT
...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.


ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA/LANDSEA

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2567. PensacolaDoug
5:38 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
I believe Alex was a cat3. Or the best developed Cat2 ever...
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 766
2566. MiamiHurricanes09
5:38 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting Tazmanian:



you think will see 96L from it?
If it makes it into the Caribbean with the an appearance similar to the one it has now, yes I think we'll see 96L or possibly 97L from it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2564. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:37 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
Quoting extreme236:
CMC is developing, what, 4-5 storms in the next week? lol

If that happened, 2010 could make 2005 look inactive.
well if ya think thats freaky wait till the CV season kicks into high gear in about two weeks from now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 187 Comments: 57780

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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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