Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tropical Storm Alex

Above is a recent satellite image of Tropical Storm Alex, with the 1pm CDT National Hurricane Center (NHC) statistics superimposed in the upper-left hand corner of the image.

Now that Alex has formed, the $64,000 question is, of course, where will he go?  Well, the Yucatan Peninsula is obviously directly in Alex's path at the movement, with the system likely to traverse that land mass from about 8pm this evening through 8pm Sunday evening.  The land mass will quickly result in Alex weakening back down to depression stage after making landfall, but with plenty of warm, Gulf water on the other side, he will likely reintensify upon emerging back out into the Gulf on Monday.  In fact, most of the models have the system reaching hurricane force out over the Southwest Gulf early next week.

Below is the forecast track of Alex as indicated by the latest computer model runs (at total of 7 different computer model forecasts are included, indicated by the color coded legend at the top of the map).
As you can see, the "mean" (or average) track is toward the West/Northwest.  Not one model is currently forecasting a "direct hit" on Texas (the GFDL model does brush the center of Alex on the far southern tip of the state late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning).

The main feature that will determine the track of Alex at the moment appears to be the ridge of high pressure that has dominated the central & southern U.S. weather pattern over much of the last week to 10 days.  The ridge is currently undergoing some weakening/transitioning, but is forecast to regain a foothold on the region again by Tuesday.  If this expectation occurs, then the above forecast tracks of Alex having more of an impact on Mexico rather than the U.S. are likely to come to pass.  

Needless to say, if you live in South Texas or Mexico, you'll want to keep a close eye on the progress of Alex over the coming days.

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