01 July 2010

Alex moves inland...

At about 02Z (10pm EDT), Alex made landfall in a rural part of Mexico between the towns of La Pesca and Punta de Piedra at an intensity of 90kts and 948mb.  It was on an intensifying trend, which tends to make the conditions a bit more severe than if it were weakening or steady at the time (the storm is more coupled with the boundary layer and stronger winds can mix down to the surface).  There have been several tornadoes already reported in association with Alex, mostly in the Brownsville area.  Rainfall is the big problem for northern Mexico and southern Texas... Cameron County (the southern tip of Texas) received anywhere from 5-9" of rain yesterday, and it's not over.  An additional foot of rain is possible over these areas as the storm decays.  Up by Galveston, nearly 2" of rain fell as of this morning.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to locate any real-time rainfall totals from Mexico, but general reports are claiming 6-12" have fallen so far in coastal areas and 20"+ over the higher terrain further inland.

And, even though the storm is inland and weakening rapidly, the ocean is still feeling its effects... large swells up to 10' are propagating away from the storm's path and impacting nearly the entire Gulf (smaller but still amplified swells will reach the western coast of the Florida peninsula).  Oil spill recovery efforts have been put on hold for a few days due to the rough seas.

I attached a couple of images: a radar image from the Brownsville NEXRAD at the time of landfall (~02Z), and a visible satellite image from about one hour earlier (by 02Z, there was barely enough light for a decent look at the storm).  

 Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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