Tropical Storm Arlene slides toward Mexico coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:56 PM GMT on June 29, 2011

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Tropical Storm Arlene hasn't intensified much on paper, but thunderstorm activity has increased, and it looks impressive on satellite considering it was just named 24 hours ago. In a 5:30pm EDT special update, the National Hurricane Center said the tropical storm had winds of 60 mph. Thunderstorm activity increased on the southern end of the storm this afternoon, and there is some suggestion that these stronger thunderstorms could begin to wrap around the storm, if it only had more time over the warm, conducive waters of the Bay of Campeche. Tampico, Mexico has sustained winds up to 20 mph out of the north-northeast this evening. Radar indicates the heaviest rainfall is occurring on the southern side of the storm in association with the coldest cloud tops on satellite. Although flooding is expected, this storm is bringing some much needed rain to central Mexico, assuming it can be absorbed into the very dry soil.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Arlene at 5:32pm CDT on June 29, 2011. The strongest convection is to the south of the center of the storm.

An Air Force hurricane hunter reconnaissance mission was in Arlene this afternoon/evening, and found slightly stronger winds than expected. The circulation is broad and surface winds near the center of the storm are only around 35-40 mph. The highest wind speeds were found displaced from the center, associated with the strongest convection. The recon mission measured a minimum central pressure of 996 millibars, which is down from 1000 millibars in the 5pm advisory.

Arlene is having an impact on the U.S., as well. Brownsville, Texas saw a line of heavy showers earlier, and will continue to get rain throughout the evening from the outer rain bands of the storm. Coastal flood statements and rip current statements have been issued from South Padre Island to Port Lavaca, Texas. Strong rip currents and tidal overflow is expected during the next few days as lingering effects of Arlene.


Figure 2. Brownsville, Texas radar at 5:37pm CDT on June 29, 2011. The outer bands of Tropical Storm Arlene are reaching as far north as Brownsville, and coastal flood/rip currents are expected along the southern Texas coast for the next few days.

The forecast for Arlene remains almost the same as this morning. Slight strengthening (to 65 mph) is expected over the next few hours before landfall, though the National Hurricane Center admits there's a small chance winds could exceed hurricane strength. The tropical storm will come ashore south of Tampico, Mexico, just after 2am EDT, and likely will have just missed being 2011's first hurricane by few more hours over water.

Introducing wunderground's Angela Fritz
This evening's post was written by Angela Fritz, who joined wunderground this year after a stint doing weather for CNN. Angela has a Masters degree in meteorology from Georgia Tech, and specialized in hurricane research for her graduate work. She is doing hurricane forecasting for a private weather company this summer, and will be filling in for me on my blog this hurricane season when I am on vacation, mid-July through early August. Angela's excellent writing skills will be put to good use adding content to our Severe Weather Headlines and climate change sections of our web site.

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472. sunlinepr
8:18 PM GMT on June 30, 2011

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
471. sunlinepr
8:13 PM GMT on June 30, 2011


Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
469. SherwoodSpirit
2:52 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
New blog. :)
Member Since: July 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
468. Levi32
2:42 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Glad to see southern Texas getting some rain from Arlene.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26646
467. RitaEvac
2:41 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
WeatherUnderground still hasn't fixed the map of the landmass of Mexico near the border, when you zoom in it's correct but full extent it's still wrong (outline of coast)
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9629
465. RitaEvac
2:38 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9629
463. Levi32
2:33 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Also - watch for a Cape Verde system, possibly a Hurricane, this month. GFS & ECMWF are showing a pattern change in the long run off the Cape Verde islands, which shows above-average heights to develop over the central Atlantic, this would force westerly shear and SAL northward away from the ITCZ and cause that same belt of shear to actually start to enhance storms outflows. And the MJO should still be in our region too. Levi, any similar thoughts?


The GFS does show less shear over the Cape Verde area by mid-July. It's possible we could start to see some healthier-looking waves out there, but a storm out there in July would be rare. We had one in 2008, but that was special. It will be hard to get one before August.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26646
461. Vincent4989
2:31 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting clwstmchasr:


I thought the term "pattern change" was banned from this site last year:)?

Banned? why?
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
460. Skyepony (Mod)
2:30 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Interesting freshly published paper on Water vapor intrusions into the High Arctic during winter.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
459. CybrTeddy
2:29 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting clwstmchasr:


I thought the term "pattern change" was banned from this site last year:)?


No that was spurious low and anything that involves pumping the ridge.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
458. bohonkweatherman
2:28 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
Whoever said that extreme southern tx wasnt going to get much rain from arlene just earn themselves a plate of crow...pouring outside rightnow
I am so glad a little of Texas is getting good rains. Clear and hot here in South Central Texas with no rain chances. Alex did give us a little rain last year but Arlene is suppose to stay well south of us. We need a system to move north thru south Texas, maybe before end of Summer? That high pressure is just parked on top of Texas and will not move.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
456. Levi32
2:25 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, June 30th (no video today)
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26646
455. Skyepony (Mod)
2:23 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
Whoever said that extreme southern tx wasnt going to get much rain from arlene just earn themselves a plate of crow...pouring outside rightnow


Glad ya'll got rain. I had given very south TX hope of a good rain.



Quick look over the world news...Vehicle accidents are ruling the day so far..ya'll be careful out there.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
454. CybrTeddy
2:23 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:


That is interesting, always exciting when Cape Verde season starts, climatically speaking should we expect ridging to be similar to last year or will systems actually trek to the US this year?


The setup reminds me of Bertha actually from 2008, except a tad later in the month. That's where I'd watch for our 2nd or third storm of the season.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
453. MrstormX
2:22 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Also - watch for a Cape Verde system, possibly a Hurricane, this month. GFS & ECMWF are showing a pattern change in the long run off the Cape Verde islands, which shows above-average heights to develop over the central Atlantic, this would force westerly shear and SAL northward away from the ITCZ and cause that same belt of shear to actually start to enhance storms outflows. And the MJO should still be in our region too. Levi, any similar thoughts?


That is interesting, always exciting when Cape Verde season starts, climatically speaking should we expect ridging to be similar to last year or will systems actually trek to the US this year?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
452. Skyepony (Mod)
2:18 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Didn't want to go to bed lastnight. Knew she'd go ashore.

By the MJO forecast something interesting should be along shortly.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
451. CybrTeddy
2:14 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Also - watch for a Cape Verde system, possibly a Hurricane, this month. GFS & ECMWF are showing a pattern change in the long run off the Cape Verde islands, which shows above-average heights to develop over the central Atlantic, this would force westerly shear and SAL northward away from the ITCZ and cause that same belt of shear to actually start to enhance storms outflows. And the MJO should still be in our region too. Levi, any similar thoughts?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
449. ShenValleyFlyFish
2:11 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Coming Inland. Mexican Radar Sites



If this kills the blog let me know, I'll pull it.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
448. Levi32
2:10 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Good morning all. Looks like Arlene is just about over land now. Hopefully flooding isn't too bad for Mexico. Time to start watching for Bret.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26646
447. hydrus
2:08 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting muddertracker:

That darn blue capial H is over my house again...is there anyone I can call to have it removed?
Maybe late next week..It does not look promising though...Two week GFS...Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
446. muddertracker
1:59 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting hydrus:

That darn blue capial H is over my house again...is there anyone I can call to have it removed?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 2348
445. Vincent4989
1:56 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:
No TC is going to form in this, I just don't see it happening.


I see 50 knots of SHEER right south of Haiti. if the SHEER disappears, we'll see a TD or TS by a week or so.
If the SHEER does not, we dont see anything until Mid-July or so.
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
444. tornadolarkin
1:56 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:
No TC is going to form in this, I just don't see it happening.



I completely agree.
Member Since: May 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 352
443. hydrus
1:54 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
442. CybrTeddy
1:53 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Good morning! I see Arlene managed to slightly intensify right as it made landfall to 65 mph peak. Arlene will dissipate overland today and after that the tropics will be very quiet once again. 1-0-0 everyone for June, when half of us thought June wouldn't see a named storm.

I'd be watching off the East Coast over the next week however, possibility of trough splits as indicated by the CMC, UKMET and hinted at by the GFS.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
441. hydrus
1:52 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:
No TC is going to form in this, I just don't see it happening.

Theres definitely a lot of shear. TUTT will move slowly west, and then the Caribbean should be able to support some type of development.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
440. hydrus
1:50 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting juniort:
Heavy rains and gusty winds here in Barbados
It may be my eyes. but that wave east of you seems to have some spin...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
439. MrstormX
1:49 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
No TC is going to form in this, I just don't see it happening.

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
438. Jax82
1:47 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
SST

TCHP
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
437. EYEStoSEA
1:46 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
436. Vincent4989
1:45 PM GMT on June 30, 2011

Nice T-Wave with a spin NE of Brazil.
Meanwhile there is a lot of HEEEAAAAT warnings over the US.
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
434. juniort
1:36 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Heavy rains and gusty winds here in Barbados
Member Since: July 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 69
433. hydrus
1:31 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting stillwaiting:
for now tutt rules the carib basin...
It will be interesting to see what happens once Arlene dissipates and the wave moves into the Caribbean.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
432. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:29 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:


Which is why I'm not super interested, if that shear weren't there the wave could easily explode into a full fledged hurricane much akin to what Dennis did in '05. Tropical development is more likely in the GOM or on the East Coast imo.
If a frog had wings . . . ;~/
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
431. nrtiwlnvragn
1:27 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Looks like NHC was "testing" the wave in the Central Atlantic yesterday via SHIPS, which did not develop it.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11153
430. MrstormX
1:25 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Wind shear is screaming at 40-50kts. No chance of anything developing.
Quoting stillwaiting:
for now tutt rules the carib basin...


Which is why I'm not super interested, if that shear weren't there the wave could easily explode into a full fledged hurricane much akin to what Dennis did in '05. Tropical development is more likely in the GOM or on the East Coast imo.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
429. islander101010
1:22 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
not sure if these are the same systems?
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4560
428. EYEStoSEA
1:22 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
426. stillwaiting
1:21 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:
That Twave approaching the Caribbean won't be entering a very nice region for development.
for now tutt rules the carib basin...
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
425. hydrus
1:19 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
424. nrtiwlnvragn
1:18 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Can always look at the CMC Ensemble, a storm wherever you want one ;)


Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11153
422. MrstormX
1:15 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
MODEL FORECASTS ARE SIMILAR.

...CLOSED LOW POSSIBLY FORMING NEAR THE EAST COAST THIS WEEKEND...

PREFERENCE: ECMWF

THE NEW ECMWF HAS TRENDED EASTWARD AND NOW GENERALLY AGREES WITH
OTHER SOLUTIONS THAT LIE
NEAR THE MODEL CONSENSUS...INCLUDING THE UKMET/CANADIAN...WITH THE
NAM SLOWER AND GFS FASTER RESPECTIVELY. ENSEMBLE MEMBER SPREAD IS
QUITE LARGE AS WELL...AND WITH CONTINUITY RELATIVELY POOR AT THE
MOMENT RECOMMEND A SOLUTION NEAR THE CONSENSUS WHICH IS THE ECMWF.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438

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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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