29 June 2010
Alex Nearing Hurricane Strength in Gulf (Updated with AMSU Image)
Posted by Dan Satterfield
Tropical Storm Alex is looking quite healthy this afternoon and has finally started moving. There seems to be a growing consensus among the models that Alex will come ashore in Mexico, well south of Brownsville, Texas. The latest movement, along with the new guidance, is a bit left of the last NHC track. Look for a shift the forecast a little southward in the next advisory.
It is not out of the question that Alex could reach Category two strength before landfall, and the swells from the storm will likely impact the oil slick operations well across the Gulf.
Update: The NOAA 18 Polar orbiter has a a sensor called the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit. This allows a radar type image of the storm and can be very helpful in determining storm structure. Looking at the latest pass, it does not show an eye yet.
The rest of the tropics seem quiet right now.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond from our office will be on board the Air Force recon. aircraft for the overnight fixes. He may very well be flying into a hurricane. Alex is very close now…