As Alex nears hurricane strength at 8 a.m. EDT on June 29, a Hurricane Warning is in effect for the coast of Texas south of Baffin Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande and the coast of Mexico from the mouth of the Rio Grande to La Cruz. A tropical storm warning in effect for the coast of Texas From Baffin Bay to Port O'Connor. The weather is already deteriorating today in the northern Mexico/southern Texas coast. Alex's clouds are already visible from the southern Texas coast this morning.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of Tropical-storm-force winds. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
At 2 p.m. EDT the center of Tropical Storm Alex was located near latitude 22.9 north and longitude 93.6 west. That's about 270 miles (435 km) east-southeast of La Pesca, Mexico, and 320 miles (515 km) southeast of Brownsville, Texas. Alex is now moving toward the northwest near 13 mph (21 km/hr). Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/hr) with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center notes that "Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Alex is likely to become a hurricane later today."
A turn toward the northwest is expected later today, followed by a gradual turn toward the west-northwest on Wednesday. The minimum central pressure just reported by the hurricane hunter is 981 millibars, a drop of 2 millibars from three hours before. That drop in pressure indicates a strengthening storm.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km), that's 35 miles per hour greater than at 11 a.m. EDT today, so the storm is growing. An automated weather station managed by the Mexican Navy at Cayo Arenas reported a wind gust of 68 mph (109 km/hr) in mid-morning hours of June 29.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument reads the temperature of thunderstorm cloud tops in tropical cyclones and the sea surface temperatures around them. The colder temperatures of cloud tops, the higher they are in the atmosphere, and the stronger they are. Very high, cold cloud tops can be colder than -63 Fahrenheit, and likely dump heavy rainfall.
AIRS data noticed increasing deep convection (rapidly rising air that form clouds and thunderstorms that power the tropical cyclone)in the eastern semicircle of Alex's small developing eye indicating a strengthening storm.
The AIRS instrument works with another instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite to provide more insight on the workings of tropical cyclones. AIRS data combined with data from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) helps pinpoint the motion of tropical cyclones. AIRS/AMSU data confirmed that Alex's initial motion in the last 8 hours is 340 or north-northwest.
Microwave data from AMSU at 0243 UTC (June 28 at 10:43 p.m. EDT) and imagery captured at 0114 UTC (9:14 p.m. EDT, June 28) from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) instrument that flies on the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) indicated a small mid-level eye feature very near the low-level recon center position. The AMSU data indicated that Alex's center of circulation has aligned vertically, which favors steady intensification because there is low wind shear and warm ocean surface temperatures.
So, what is AMSU and what does it do? The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit is a multi-channel microwave radiometer installed on NASA's Aqua satellite and meteorological satellites such as the on several NOAA low-Earth satellites. The instrument examines several bands of microwave radiation from the atmosphere to perform atmospheric sounding (reading) of temperature and moisture levels. AMSU data is used extensively in weather prediction. Temperature data are processed as quickly as possible and sent to numerical weather prediction (NWP) centers around the world. This data helps keep the assessment of the current state of the atmosphere correct, which in turn helps make forecasts more accurate.
What are the hazards that Alex will bring to Northeastern Mexico and southeastern Texas? Heavy rainfall, gusty winds and storm surge. Accumulations of 6 to 12 inches of rainfall over portions of northeastern Mexico and southern Texas are possible, with isolated amounts to as much as 20 inches. This extreme rainfall can cause flash-flooding and life-threatening mud slides. Additional rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are possible over portions of southern Mexico through today.
Alex is expected to strengthen into hurricane, and tropical storms conditions are expected to reach coastal areas on Wednesday. In addition, the National Hurricane Center warns "a dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above ground level along the immediate coast near and to the north of where the center makes landfall. The surge could penetrate inland as far as several miles from the shore with depth generally decreasing as the water moves inland. Near the coast...the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves."
What is expected to turn Alex to the west-northwest? A building sub-tropical ridge (that's an area of high pressure) to the north and east of Alex over the next 3 days which is expected to gradually steer the cyclone on a west-northwestward or westward track with time. The National Hurricane Center noted that Alex is now moving northwestward and shift west-northwest on Wednesday. Alex is expected to make landfall in northern Mexico or southern Texas late Wednesday night.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data
22.03.2018 | University of Southampton
New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world
22.03.2018 | University of Cincinnati
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Life Sciences
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Process Engineering