02 August 2004

Tropical Storm Alex gets better organized very close to coast...

TS Alex is just 120 miles southeast of Charleston, SC, and organizing
quickly.  Last night, Alex was seemingly rather disorganized, with the
convection all displaced to the south of the center.  This morning, in a
matter of just 2-3 hours, an eye, spiral rainbands, and ragged eyewall
have formed (first evident in the radar imagery, and more recently in
the visible satellite imagery as well).

As of 15Z, Alex was located at 31.5N 78.7W and drifting ENE at 4kts. 
Intensity measured by aircraft is 50kts and 993mb.  Given the recent
trend of improved organization, further strengthening is very likely,
and Alex might become the first hurricane of the season.

It appears that the storm will just scrape the US coast, passing very
close to Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras Tuesday morning.  A radar loop from
Charleston, SC shows the circulation and eye quite nicely:

Another update will be sent out later today which will give an update on
Alex, as well as the developing tropical wave in the deep tropics.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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