*Updated 9:15 a.m. Friday* Alex is no more. After moving into the mountains of Mexico overnight, the storm was ripped apart, but plenty of rain is still falling across much of Texas. Several heavy showers brought around 2 inches of rain to the Brazos Valley, and it's likely more will fall over many lawns again today.
We should start to dry out this weekend, but for Independence Day we're still expecting a 30% chance of showers. Barbecues may temporarily be interrupted, but your beef shouldn't be washed away.
Now one down, and possibly many more to go in terms of tropical storms this year. 2010 looks like it will be a busy one, with anywhere from 14-23 storms predicted in the Atlantic. In the event Bonnie moves into the Gulf we'll have more updates online and on air.
*Updated 4:15 p.m. Thursday* Alex has been cut off from its supply of warm water, and is rapidly weakening over Mexico. It is still bringing showers and thunderstorms to much of the state. Severe weather has not yet ended in South Texas either. A Tornado Warning is in effect until 4:30, and several Flash Flood Warnings are in effect along not only the lower Texas coast, but up near Victoria as well. In our area, there are some flooding concerns from the heavy rain, and a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for Austin and Walker conties until 7 a.m. Friday. Alex is expected to lose its steam overnight, and rain will taper off over the next couple of days.
What's left of the center is located at 23.2 N, 101.2 W, moving West at 13 mph. As it moves over the mountains of Mexico, it will quickly be ripped apart, and at next check tonight will likely be downgraded to a Tropical Depression.
*Updated 10:04 a.m. Thursday* Alex has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm as it continues to move further inland into Mexico. The storm has weakened significantly, with winds now down to 50 mph. Alex continues to produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds over Mexico and parts of South Texas. All watches and warnings from this storm have been discontinued, but Tropical Storm force winds can still be felt 100 miles from the center of the storm.
Alex has picked up some speed, and is now moving West at 13 mph, located at 23.1 N, 100.3 West.
Rain chances are still possible today, but they are starting to decrease now that Alex has moved onshore. There are still showers and thunderstorms located off the coast moving toward the Northeast, but they are scattered and won't bring rain to everyone. Rain chances should steadily begin decreasing, dropping to around 30% by Independence Day.
*Updated 2:16 a.m. Thursday* Alex is weakening as it moves further inland, but is still holding onto its hurricane status. Winds have decreased from 100 mph just before landfall to 85 mph. Alex is located at 24.1 N, 98.2 about 130 miles Southwest of Brownsville. Winds are starting to die down somewhat in Brownsville, but still very windy near 30 mph. Over 6 inches of rain have fallen at the airport, with even harder hit areas in Mexico.
The storm is still very large, and tropical storm force winds are still being reported 200 miles away from the storm's center. The storm is looking somewhat less organized now, but still has a discernable eye and will likely stay together for much of the day today. Alex should be downgraded to a Tropical Storm this afternoon, but will keep gusty winds and possibly heavy rain in the forecast for South Texas for the next several hours before moving further West.
Satellite image from 2:07 a.m.
*Updated 10:12 p.m. Wednesday* Seas are pretty rough across the entire Gulf of Mexico. These pictures were sent to us from the Andersons in Galveston earlier today.
*Updated 9:54 p.m. Wednesday* Alex is now making landfall with 100 mph winds. With the storm now moving inland and beginning to weaken, the Hurricane Warning will be changed to a Tropical Storm Warning as of 10 pm. Bands of heavy rainfall are still making their way onshore, and flash flooding will still be possible tonight across South Texas.
The eye of the storm is moving over Soto La Marina at latitude 23.4 N, 97.8 W. Hurricane force winds extend 35 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds are still being reported 205 miles out. Just prior to landfall, a pressure of 947 mb was reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter.
Our rain chances will taper off over the next few days now that Alex has moved inland. Keep in mind there's still a stalled cold front to the north and there's still plenty of tropical moisture to work with, and for at least tomorrow, rain chances are still looking pretty good.
As Alex moves ashore, the effects of the weakening storm will slowly propagate across the Gulf. Waves will slowly decrease, and above average tides will return to normal. Effects being felt in along the coast near the Oil Spill should start to subside over the next few days. In order to continue placing the third cap over the spill, seas must be nearly calm, which may take up to a week, although other operations like skimming and booming will likely resume in the next couple of days.
*Updated 8:27 p.m. Wednesday* Alex is about to make landfall in Eastern Mexico. Alex is now headed due West at 10 mph, only 15 miles from the coast, putting landfall sometime around 9:30 this evening. The Hurricane Warnings in effect for the Texas coast will likely be downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning this evening.
Alex's winds have now topped 100 mph, making the storm a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Hurricane force winds extend outwards 70 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds can be felt 205 miles out, making Alex not only a strong one, but still a very large cyclone.
Note a very well defined eye with a very tight circulation.
Over five inches of rain have already fallen in Brownsville, and winds are currently at 30 mph with gusts near 50. Winds should continue to increase as Alex continues its final push toward the coastline.
Even after the storm makes landfall dangerous weather is still likely across South Texas. Flash flooding as more rain continues to fall overnight as well as isolated tornadoes and damaging winds are still possible tonight.
The storm will gradually weaken once the center makes landfall, so there isn't much time left for Alex to strengthen any further. Once the storm moves further West, mountains in Mexico will quickly deplete what energy the storm has left.
*Updated 4:42 p.m.* Alex continues to strengthen, with winds now packing quite a punch at 90 mph. That's approaching the strength of a Category 2 storm. Even though Alex has now turned West, with its sights on Mexico, Hurricane Warnings are still in effect for much of the lower Texas coast in case Alex turns north. Alex is very organized now, with an eye that can clearly be seen on satellite.
Note the well-defined eye just off the coast.
The center of Alex should be making landfall within the next few hours, but heavy rains and strong winds will continue in South Texas for several more, possibly into tomorrow morning.
Rain bands have moved into the Brazos Valley, and are now bringing light to moderate rainfall across the area. Alex's large size is affecting most of the Gulf, including the area affected by the Oil Spill. For more on Alex's impact on the spill, tune in to the 5 pm Newscast on air or online here.
*Updated 1:07 p.m. Wednesday* Alex has strengthened further, now with winds at 85 mph. The center of the storm is now 130 miles Southeast of Brownsville, and landfall is still expected tonight. Heavy rain and strong winds are already pelting areas of South Texas, and will continue for the next several hours.
The storm still has a well defined center, and at this point is still moving Northwest. If the storm stays on its current course, it will likely take it on a path directly toward Brownsville. It is expected to turn further West, and strike south of the city along the Mexican coastline. It should continue to strengthen until the center of the storm makes landfall, and could potentially become a Category 2 hurricane shortly before landfall tonight.
*Updated 10:12 a.m. Wednesday* Alex hasn't strengthened since our last check, but remains a Category 1 Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Alex's large size is already bringing rain bands to parts of South Texas, and should make landfall tonight along the Mexican border. Hurricane Alex now has a well defined eye about 10 miles in diameter.
40 mph winds are now being reported off the lower Texas coast, and sustained winds of 25 mph are already moving into Brownsville. They will only be on the increase as Alex approaches the coast throughout the day and into tonight.
Alex is located at 23.8 N, 95.5 W, about 190 miles Southeast of Brownsville. Rain bands are extending across much of the Gulf of Mexico, and are already moving into the Houston area, and will be moving into the Brazos Valley by this afternoon. Locally heavy rain will be possible as the rain bands continue to move onshore, and isolated severe storms cannot be ruled out either. A Tornado Warning is in effect for Cameron county in South Texas which includes the city of Brownsville.
Storm surges of 3-5 feet can be expected along the coast, along with 6-12 inches of rain.
Alex's Position as of 10 a.m.
*Updated 7:58 a.m.* Alex spent some time strengthening overnight. The hurricane now has a well-defined eye and 80 mph winds. The wind shear is low up until Alex is expected to make landfall and remains over warm waters and is now moving more slowly toward the West-Northwest as only 7 mph. Combine that wil a low central pressure and some more intensification is likely before the storm makes landfall tonight.
The storm's latest coordinates are 23.4 N, 95.3 W.
Models are still bringing a high pressure ridge into the mid levels of the atmosphere which should continue to steer Alex in a Westerly path. Forecasters are still expecting landfall in Mexico, not along the lower Texas coast, but nevertheless, with the size of Alex, tropical storm force winds, if not hurricane strength, will be moving into locations like Brownsville and Corpus Christi tonight.
*Updated 9:49 p.m.* It's official. Tropical Storm Alex has now become Hurricane Alex with winds of 75 mph. Alex has become the first hurricane of the 2010 season, and the first hurricane to occur in the month of June since 1995.
Alex has now taken a turn to the left, moving Westward at 9 mph. It's still expected that overall storm motion will be toward the West-Northwest and that the storm will make landfall near the Texas-Mexico border tomorrow night. While hurricane force winds are only extending roughly 15 miles from the center, tropical storm force winds are now 175 miles from the center. The center is located at 23.1 N, 94.8 W.
Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Baffin Bay to the Rio Grande. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from Baffin Bay to Port O'Connor. 30 mph winds are already being reported off the lower Texas coast, and will continue to intensify as the storm approaches.
As the storm makes landfall, rainfall totals between 6 and 12 inches can be expected, with isolated amounts of up to 20 inches possible in a few locations near the eye of the storm. A storm surge of 3-5 feet could move several miles inland.
There's little wind shear, and the storm remains over deep, warm water. Alex should continue to strengthen overnight and before making landfall tomorrow. Alex is not expected to reach Category 2 status, but could be a strong Category 1 before making landfall. Forecasters are warning not to get too bogged down in the exact location of the center making landfall, especially due to the very large size of Alex. Remember that tropical storm force winds are as far out at 175 miles from the center of the storm.
*Updated 7:02 p.m. Tuesday* As of the 7:00 advisory, Alex still a tropical storm. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter is on its way now to the center of the storm and will likely find that Alex has strengthened to a hurricane shortly. Some dry air intruding into the storm is the likely culprit for keeping Alex as weak as it is. Although the pressure keeps falling (now at 980 mb, which is pretty low) winds haven't kept up quite as quickly.
Alex is centered at 23.2N, 94.5 W, 265 miles Southeast of Brownsville, and now moving toward the West-Northwest at 12 mph. Landfall is still expected on the Mexican side of the Texas-Mexico border, especially given the turn further West.
*Updated 4:00 p.m. Tuesday* Even after an afternoon over the warm waters of the Gulf, Alex remains a Tropical Storm, although a very strong one, with winds at 70 mph. Alex is now starting to curve further to the West, resulting in landfall that is now expected to be further South and sooner than earlier anticipated. The storm's center is currently located at 23.2 N, 94.0 W.
The center of Alex is becoming more defined with each new satellite image that comes in, but dry air is still penetrating the storm, the likely reason that Alex hasn't strengthened any further today. With convective storm activity increasing around the center showing signs of strengthening, it's still expected to become a hurricane this evening.
The lower Texas coast is still in for a busy next couple of days, with the storm anticipated to make landfall tomorrow night. Even with the track further South, tropical storm force winds are still extending as far out as 140 miles from the center of the storm.
Rain bands from Alex have already reached the Brazos Valley, and brought some stronger thunderstorms to locations like Robertson county. Expect activity to be on the increase again tomorrow as Alex moves closer to shore.
*Updated 1:09 p.m. Tuesday* Alex still not quite up to hurricane strength, but very close with winds still around 70 mph. Convection around the storm's center is increasing, meaning Alex is likely intensifying, and should become a hurricane later on today. The storm is currently located at 22.9 N, 93.6 W. The forward speed of Alex has picked up again, now moving Northwest at 13 mph.
Alex now exhibiting a well defined center with strong convection
Storm surges are expected to reach anywhere from 3-5 feet, and voluntary evacuations have been issued in some coastal locations in South Texas.
At this point, forecasters are fairly certain that Alex will not take a path that puts it close to the oil spill, however, large ocean swells are already approaching the area and the cap that still has three days to completion can only be completed in relatively calm seas. Alex could cause up to a week long delay in resuming operations with the new cap. The good news, though, is that the current ongoing operations should not be affected.
Bands of rain from Tropical Storm Alex have already moved into the Brazos Valley, and with plenty of moisture available to us while we're situated in between Alex and a stalled cold front to the North, rain chances look promising for the next several days. Heavier rainfall is possible Wednesday and Thursday as Alex makes its final push onshore.
*Updated 10:18 a.m. Tuesday* Tropical Storm Alex still hovering just below hurricane strength, but will likely become a hurricane by the next update around 1 p.m. this afternoon. Tropical Storm force winds now out to 140 miles from the center as the storm becomes more organized, and slowly strengthens. The eye of Alex is slowly becoming more defined and pressure levels have fallen, indicating that the storm is continuing to strengthen.
A voluntary evacuation is in effect for South Padre Island and Port Isabel. Port Isabel mayor Joe Vega is urging residents living in the Laguna Vista area to quickly secure their homes, then leave as Alex quickly approaches.
Alex has sped up a bit, now moving toward the Northwest at 12 mph, located at 22.7 N, 93.1 W. With the increase in speed, landfall looking a bit earlier, placing the center along the coast on Wednesday night rather than Thursday morning, but that is assuming that it begins to curve to the West-Northwest later on today or tonight.
Models are in good agreement regarding the general path the storm will take, however there are still a couple of outliers. In the event the storm does continue on a more Northerly track, a hit near Matagorda Bay is still possible, but with the ridge building very unlikely.
Forecast track is still on for landfall along the East coast of Mexico or lower Texas coast, and Texas Task Force 1 and 2 have been activated and dispatched to the lower Texas coast. Even if landfall does occur on Mexico, there will almost certainly be Hurricane and Tropical Storm force winds hundreds of miles from the center of the storm.
Rainfall projections as the storm makes landfall have increased to 6 to 12 inches, with isolated areas of up to 20 inches possible. Flash flooding is possible in Eastern Mexico and the lower Texas coast on Wednesday and into Thursday. Storm surges are estimated to be 3 to 5 feet above normal as the storm moves inland along the coast. The storm surge will also be accompanied by large waves.
For us, still expecting increased shower and thunderstorm activity as Alex moves further North. Rain bands are already approaching the upper Texas coast, and we will likely pick up another round of rain in the next few hours.
*Updated 7:03 a.m. Tuesday* Governor Perry has issued a disaster proclamation for 19 counties in the lower Texas coast in anticipation of Alex. As of this morning, the only news of evacuations has been from oil rigs in the Western Gulf of Mexico. Alex is now located at 22.5 N, 92.7 W. Tropical Storm force winds extend 105 out from Alex's center, which is located 380 miles Southeast of Brownsville. Alex is currently headed North-Northwest, but is expected to curve slowly toward the West-Northwest over the next couple of days.
The storm strengthened overnight, with winds up to 70 mph, nearly hurricane strength, as of 7 a.m. Alex will likely strengthen into a hurricane later today, possibly this morning. The eye of Alex is slowly becoming more developed and the center of Alex is becoming more vertically aligned, meaning the storm will continue to strengthen, and likely at a faster clip. The Hurricane Warning is still in effect for much of the lower Texas coast, and now a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the coast from Baffin Bay to Port O'Connor.
Forecast track of Alex has consistently put landfall along the Mexican or Lower Texas coastline. The center of Alex should make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday.
*Updated 10:19 p.m. Monday* Hurricane Warnings are now in effect for much of the coastal areas of the Lower Texas coast. Coastal areas south of Baffin Bay to Brownsville can expect hurricane conditions within the next 36 hours. Winds will likely be around 80 mph as the storm moves inland, and anywhere from 5-10 inches of rain can be expected with this storm. At this point, several oil rigs in the Western Gulf have been evacuated, but now large-scale evacuations have taken place onshore.
Tropical Storm Alex's winds are increasing, now up to 65 mph. Alex is drifting slowly to the North, but as high pressure builds into the Southeast, the storm should be steered further West. Models are in much better agreement than they have been, with most of the models taking Alex either into the Mexico or the lower Texas coast. The storm is currently located at 21.0 N, 91.6 W.
Alex will continue to strengthen now that the wind shear that kept the storm from strengthening today as died down. Don't be surprised if Alex becomes a hurricane tomorrow morning.
With the Brazos Valley still sandwiched between a stalled front and Tropical Storm Alex, showers and thunderstorms are possible tonight and through much of the week.
*Updated 6:59 p.m. Monday* Alex still holding steady as a strong Tropical Storm. The forecast track for Alex hasn't changed since this afternoon, and the storm is still expected to make landfall early Thursday as a hurricane.
It began slowing down earlier today, and is now parked at 20.6 N, 91.6 W. With the wind shear, Alex hasn't strengthened today, but once it moves further North where less shear is present, it will likely begin strengthening. I wouldn't be completely surprised if we wake up tomorrow and Alex has become a hurricane (with winds 74 mph or greater).
Still expecting Alex to make landfall along the lower Texas coast, or very close to the border in Mexico. Even that far away, Alex is still a very large storm, and we'll likely see more rain as this storm continues to move plenty of Gulf moisture into the Brazos Valley.
*Updated 3:54 p.m. Monday* A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Texas Coast from Baffin Bay to Port O'Connor.
Alex is located at 20.5 N, 91.8 W moving toward the North-Northwest at 7 mph. Tropical Storm force winds extend outwards from the center up to 70 miles. Alex's wind speeds haven't increased since last check, due to some increased wind shear and dry air being pulled into the storm. With warm ocean waters in the Gulf and less wind shear further North, Alex is still expected to strengthen into a hurricane, possibly a Category 2 storm.
Models are a bit more consistent with the path Alex will take, building a ridge in the Southeastern United States that will gradually steer the storm further West over the next couple of days. It is still expected to make landfall as a hurricane along the lower Texas coast, or a bit further South along Eastern Mexico early Thursday.
With the Brazos Valley sandwiched between a cold front to our North, and rain bands from Alex already along the Texas coast, rain chances are looking pretty good for the next few days. With plenty of moisture moving in from the Gulf, rainfall totals of over an inch are possible in some locations before the weekend. Winds will also likely pick up somewhat as Alex makes its move inland.
*Updated 12:50 p.m. Monday* No change in strength of Tropical Storm Alex, with winds still at 60 mph. Alex is located 535 miles Southeast of Brownsville, TX and is still on track to move into the Lower Texas Coast or Eastern Mexico Thursday. Alex is located at 20.3 N and 91.7 W.
An update on the projected path of the storm will be available later this afternoon.
*Updated 9:55 a.m. Monday* Alex's forecast track has once again been shifted North, with the thinking that the high pressure ridge that would move the storm further West will not be as strong. That does not bode well for the lower Texas coast. Alex would likely make landfall as a hurricane on Thursday.
A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Lower Texas Coast from South of Baffin Bay to the Rio Grande.
Alex has strengthened again this morning, with winds now up to 60 mph. There is a little wind shear that may be slowing down the strengthening of the storm a bit, but it's still projected to become a hurricane late tonight or early tomorrow morning.
With Alex's track projected to be much closer to us, rain chances are looking even more promising, especially given the large size of Alex. Rain bands will likely approach the area later today, and rain chances will be on the increase throughout the week as Alex moves further North. Given the proximity to the storm, some stronger winds and at times heavy rainfall will be possible.
*Updated 7:52 a.m. Monday* Forecast track of Alex has once again been shifted further North, now including more of the lower Texas coast. Models are in slightly better agreement, but a few do still show a more Northerly track, bringing Alex closer to Matagorda Bay. Even the models that had previously moved the storm directly to the West are moving it into the Northern region of Eastern Mexico.
Alex has strengthened slightly, with winds now up to 50 mph. The storm is located at 19.7 N and 91.6 W. Given that Alex is expected to spend more time in the warm waters of the Gulf, it may strengthen into a Category 2 Hurricane later in the week.
Still expecting rain chances here this week, but with Alex's path expected to be further North, the better rain chances here will likely be starting Wednesday, although chances are present for a few showers and thunderstorms already.
A hurricane hunter will be sent out this evening once Alex moves into the Gulf giving us a better fix on the storm's location as well as a better idea of where it's headed.
*Updated 1:51 p.m. Sunday* Alex has weakened to a Tropical Depression over the Yucatan Peninsula. Alex's maximum winds have now dropped to 35 mph, nearly Tropical Storm strength, but should weaken a bit more as it continues to move over land. With Alex's weakening, all Tropical Storm Watches in the Yucatan Peninsula have been cancelled.
Alex is currently located at 18.7 N, 90.6 W.
Later this afternoon, Alex is expected to enter the Southern Gulf of Mexico and begin to restrengthen, reaching Tropical storm strength tonight, then becoming a hurricane sometime Tuesday.
Forecast track of Alex as of 10 a.m.
*Updated 8:54 a.m. Sunday* Tropical Storm Alex continues to weaken as it moves over the Yucatan Peninsula. At this time it's still a tropical storm, but at next check will likely weaken to a Tropical Depression, with winds less than 39 mph. Current wind speeds are at 40 mph. For those of you tracking Alex, it's located at 18.4 N and 89.9 W.
Alex is still forecast to move back inth the Western Gulf of Mexico, then re-strengthen likely into a Category 1 Hurricane on Tuesday.
While some models still bring the storm into Texas, most are still projecting Alex to make landfall in Eastern Mexico, but the official forecast has been shifted slightly further North. Alex remains a very large storm, and even if it does make landfall in Mexico, the lower Texas coast will likely see strong winds and heavy rainfall.
Forecast Path of Tropical Storm Alex as of 7 a.m. Sunday
As for us, we're still expecting rain from Alex on Tuesday and Wednesday as Alex moves into the Gulf o f Mexico. If Alex does change its track after moving into the Gulf, we may see more rain sooner, and possibly some gusty winds depending on its path.
*Updated 10:11 p.m. Saturday* Tropical Storm Alex has made landfall just North of Belize City. Since moving inland, the storm has started to weaken. Wind speeds are now down to 60 mph, and will continue to decrease overnight. While the intensity of the wind speeds have dropped, the structure of the storm is still holding together, with a fairly well-defined center.
Even though Alex is expected to make landfall in Eastern Mexico, the size of Alex still means that much of Texas will be affected in one way or another. Keep in mind that even if it does remain on track for Mexico, strong winds and heavy rainfall will likely affect portions of the lower Texas coast.
Model projections and current location as of 10:00 p.m. Saturday Satellite view of Tropical Storm Alex
Alex is a very large storm. Outer bands of the storm are extending nearly to the Florida keys. Rain chances in the Brazos Valley return to the forecast Monday, with the best chances for rain just before the storm makes landfall on Wednesday.
*Updated 4:04 p.m. Saturday* After a visit to Tropical Storm Alex Saturday afternoon, an Air Force Hurricane Hunter determined that it was a much stronger storm than had been predicted. Winds were up to 65 mph. However, the center of Alex will move over Belize shortly, and it's likely the storm has already started to weaken somewhat.
Models indicate that it's even less likely now that Alex will make landfall along the lower Texas coast and are now more in favor of the storm moving over the Yucatan Peninsula, then proceeding toward Eastern Mexico. It still looks as though it will strengthen into a Category 1 Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall.
It's difficult to predict what effect landfall will have on the storm. We'll have a much better grasp of the track of the storm once it moves into the Gulf.
One thing of note is that Alex is a very large storm. Tropical Storm force winds extend 115 miles from Alex's center. Clouds and rain are extending as far east as Cuba. That means that even if Alex does make landfall in Eastern Mexico as the models suggest, the lower coast will likely see some strong winds and heavy rainfall. Here in the Brazos Valley, while we don't expect tropical storm force winds, it may very well be pretty breezy at times and we will likely see some showers and thunderstorms as Alex moves further North. Wednesday would likely be our best chance for rain.
As of 4:00 p.m. Saturday
Note the size of Tropical Storm Alex. Rain bands extending as far East as Cuba.
*Updated 1:21 p.m. Saturday* Tropical Storm Alex continues to move WNW toward the Yucatan Peninsula. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Belize and parts of Mexico including Cancun. The center of the storm should make landfall along the coast of Belize this afternoon.
Alex's location as of 1:00 p.m. Saturday
Alex is expected to continue moving toward the WNW over the Yucatan Peninsula then continue into the Gulf of Mexico. It now looks as though there is a good chance Tropical Storm Alex may become a hurricane after moving into the Gulf where there are warm ocean waters and favorable upper level winds.
At this point, a broad area of high pressure over the Southeastern United States should steer Alex further to the West once it makes its move into the Gulf. Alex should again make landfall in Eastern Mexico, but could potentially make landfall along the lower Texas coast.
Alex is a particularly large storm, and there is a good chance we would see some rain from the system. Things are still a long way out though, and we'll have a better handle on what the storm will do once it moves into the Gulf.
*Updated 9:34 a.m. Saturday* Tropical Depression One has become Tropical Storm Alex. Alex was upgraded to a Tropical Storm after another Air Force Hurricane Hunter was sent to the Western Caribbean early Saturday morning. Alex is expected to continue to the West-Northwest, and make landfall in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Alex should strengthen before making landfall, but winds will remain below hurricane strength before impacting Belize and parts of Mexico. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for much of the Yucatan Peninsula.
For those of you tracking Tropical Storm Alex, the storm is currently located at 16.9 degrees North, and 84.9 degrees West.
After the storm makes landfall, it should weaken, then continue to move Northwestward into the Gulf of Mexico. Models are still uncertain about the path the storm will take, although some strengthening is expected as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf.
*Updated 5:23 p.m. Friday* After days of watching some activity in the tropics, a hurricane hunter was sent to investigate an area of showers and thunderstorms in the Western Caribbean Friday evening.
Data from the aircraft showed rotation around an area of low pressure and winds of 35 mph, nearly the strength of a Tropical Storm. It's very likely this depression will soon become the first Tropical Storm of the season: Alex either Friday night or Saturday morning. Tropical Storm Warnings are already in effect for several locations in eastern Mexico.
Location as of 5:35 p.m. Friday
After reaching Tropical Storm strength, it's forecast to move across the Yucatan Penninsula, again weakening it to a tropical depression. It will likely continue to move North into the Gulf of Mexico, but at this point it's not forecast to strengthen if what will be left of the system does manage to move inland in the U.S.
You can keep up to date with the latest tropical developments throughout Hurricane Season at kbtx.com/hurricanes.
Alex is still expected to make landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane, but the last several updates have moved the forecast location slightly further North, with a slightly better possibility of making landfall along the lower Texas coast. This means a couple of things. First, it will give the storm more time in the Gulf, which means more time for Alex to strengthen. Secondly, for us, it would likely mean better rain chances given our closer proximity to the storm. Even if the storm does hit Eastern Mexico, locations like Brownsville and Corpus Christi will likely see heavy rain and strong winds from the system.
*Updated 4:00 p.m. Sunday* Alex remains over the Yucatan Peninsula as a Tropical Depression. Alex continues to move towards the West-Northwest and the center of the storm should be moving into the Gulf of Mexico within the next couple of hours. Winds are still at 35 mph, and should increase fairly quickly once it moves offshore.
More models are bringing it further East, which means we'll have to keep a close eye on this system. Models are in very good agreement up until Monday night. It should continue to move toward the West/Northwest through Monday, but then there's a large spread in which direction Alex will head.
A ridge over the Southeastern United States will be the primary steering force for the storm. If the ridge is relatively weak, the storm will take a more Northerly track and would likely make landfall along the Texas coast. If the ridge is strong, the storm would be steered toward the Mexican coastline. While the NHC is going with the stronger ridge scenario, they're not by any means 100% sold on this path.
*Updated 8:22 p.m. Sunday* Alex has moved into the Gulf of Mexico, and will now begin strengthening now that it has access to plenty of warm water. While the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center keeps Alex moving toward the Eastern coast of Mexico, it has moved it further North, meaning the lower Texas coast will likely be impacted by Alex.
Models remain divided on the path the storm will take after Monday night. Several bring it on a more Westerly track, with Alex making landfall in Eastern Mexico, but others are bringing the storm's path as far East as Matagorda Bay. The official forecast is leaning more towards the Westerly scenario, but they have been inching the storm's projected path further North. That would mean that places like Brownsville and Corpus Christi could potentially be a prime target for some strong winds and very heavy rainfall.
*Updated 10:19 p.m. Sunday* After being downgraded to a Tropical Depression after moving over the Yucatan Peninsula, it has now regained Tropical Storm status now that it has moved over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.