Colleagues, FORECAST: The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season gets its start with the first named storm, ALEX which is now just South of the Yucatan Peninsula with winds of 40 mph, headed NW. ALEX will strengthen as it moves towards the Yucatan, arriving tomorrow. Weaken somewhat (becoming a tropical depression) as it crosses the Yucatan, and then (about Monday) enter the Bay of Campeche where it will then regain some strength again. There it could turn to the left and enter northern Old Mexico or go more straight and hit Texas. If it goes left, it will remain a Tropical Storm, with winds of up to 60 mph, if it goes more northerly, it could continue to gain strength and become a minimal hurricane if it were to hit northern Texas, or possibly western Louisiana. This is hard to tell until Monday or Tuesday, after it has crossed the Yucatan. My Monday or Tuesday, this should be clear. Right now, it looks like Texas as a strong Tropical Storm
DISCUSSION: Tropical Storm Alex will remain under the influence of large scale wind currents. which will make it a challenge to turn too much the the right, and having a direct effect on Florida. What about the effect on the Deep Horizon Oil Spill. If it keeps 100s of miles to the west, it should only create some rough seas. However, a week storm could push more oil on-shore than a strong storm which would mix the some surface oil to greater depths. A slow moving storm, and a more northerly path, will push more oil on to western Louisiana and into Texas. There is not any good news, but some is less bad. The panhandle of Florida could get some effect, but it will be either not as bad as further west, or almost none at all.
Some of the best forecast models have the track moving significantly eastward, toward a direct hit on Tallahassee, in response to a weakening ridge. That would be BAD, as it would ensure about a week of 300,000 gal of oil going directly into the Gulf each day as all containment efforts would cease. But I do not think ALEX will respond to weakening ridge as those models do. It is a contest between some of the best (historically) models and the mind.
One final note. I have a website, http://www.hurricanehunt.com where among other things, I will be posting on a blog where you can comment and add your contribution whether you are a professional meteorologist, or just curious and interested.
NEXT FORECAST: Sunday Morning
DISCLAIMER: The Florida State University required that I not use any FSU equipment to send out these forecasts. To comply, I have purchased my own computer for making and sending these forecasts. I have been touched by the many offers of encouragement and support that I have received. I am deeply indebted to the Secretary and the staff of the Department of Children and Families who value these forecasts for the citizens of Florida. Also to the firm Hayes Computer Systems, which set up the distribution software and is providing for the distribution of these forecasts at no cost. They are very professional and competent. I acknowledge that these forecasts are mine alone, by my own effort and initiative. I only try to provide the best possible forecasts for the community, and the State of Florida and now, surrounding states at no cost to those who receive it.
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I have set up a website and blog which may be reached at URL http://www.hurricanehunt.com In this website you can find the forecast, as well as a blog of expanded interests of mine dealing with weather and climate and hurricanes, and an opportunity for you to comment as well. There is also an opportunity for you to contribute to defraying the increasing costs of maintaining this service, if and only if you want to. This must always be a not for profit public service and free as long as I have anything to do with it. But I have had offers of help in the past and it is increasingly difficult for me to underwrite all the cost, even with the generous and gracious support form Hayes Computer Systems.
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Peter S. Ray
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