Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Tropical Storm Arlene made landfall on the northeast coast of Mexico south of Tampico at 5am EDT this morning as an intensifying tropical storm with 65 mph winds. Wind gusts as high as 46 mph were recorded in Tampico last night, and intermittent heavy rain and winds gusting up to 34 mph have affected Brownsville, Texas today. The Brownsville Airport picked up 1.31" of rain as of 10am EDT, and Arlene has dropped rainfall amounts of 1 - 2 inches over extreme South Texas so far, according to radar-estimates of rainfall from the Brownsville radar. As Arlene pushes inland today, heavy rainfall amounts of 4 - 8 inches are likely over portions of Mexico, which will probably cause several million dollars in flooding damage. However, Arlene's rains are likely to provide a benefit to agriculture in the tens of millions of dollars, since the region of Mexico affected is experiencing their worst drought in over 50 years. It's fortunate that Arlene ran out of room in the Gulf of Mexico when it did; microwave satellite images of the storm at landfall show that Arlene was well on its way to establishing a complete eyewall, and would have likely become a hurricane if it had had another twelve hours over water.
Figure 1. Tropical Storm Arlene at landfall: 4:45am EDT June 20, 2011. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.
Figure 2. Rainfall amounts from Tropical Storm Arlene as estimated by the Brownsville, Texas radar. The radar is not able to see far enough to the south to capture the main rain areas from Arlene.
No additional action expected in the Atlantic over the coming week
There are no other areas of concern in the Atlantic today, and none of the computer models is predicting tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic over the coming seven days. We've gotten our first storm of the season a bit on the early side; the typical first storm does not occur until July 9 in the Atlantic. High wind shear of 20 - 50 knots rules the Caribbean and the surrounding waters that tend to breed early season storms, which will make formation of an early July storm difficult.
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