28 June 2010

Alex has entered the Gulf of Mexico...

Since my update on Friday afternoon, TD1 was upgraded to TS Alex early the following day.  It made first landfall on Belize City, Belize as a 50kt tropical storm, tracked northwest across the Yucatan Peninsula, and entered the southern Gulf of Mexico late Sunday night.  Toward the end of the trip across the peninsula, it weakened slightly to a Depression, but almost immediately regained TS strength upon entering the warm Gulf waters.  At 15Z today, the intensity was 50kts and 989mb.

As of this writing, the bulk of the deep convection is located to the east of the low-level center, and it looks fairly ragged and disorganized, as one would expect after spending nearly a full day over land.  However, Alex is forecast to become a minimal CAT2 hurricane as it approaches the western Gulf, making landfall early Thursday morning near the US/Mexico border.  One thing I'll point out is that model guidance has been gradually shifting the landfall point further and further north with each new run.  I'd suspect that the official forecast track will follow that trend and nudge slightly northward with each advisory.

In the US, coastal areas can expect a storm surge up to 6' near Brownsville and Corpus Christi, and minimal up to at least the TX/LA border.  In the coming days, larger and larger swells and waves will make their debut in the north-central Gulf; certainly a negative impact on the oil leak situation.  Instead of the typical 3-4' swells offshore of LA, MS, AL, and northwest FL, swells of 8-10' will make their way up there by Wednesday.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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