Colleagues, FORECAST: Tropical Storm ALEX has remained well organized with winds 40 mph moving 11 mph NW, currently situated over the Yucatan Peninsula. ALEX's weakening during the day will be modest and the storm will quickly regain strength once ALEX enters the Bay of Campeche tomorrow. If the speed slows down as I forecast, ALEX could reach Category 1 intensity before landfall, it will be close either way, so count on something close to 75 mph winds at landfall. I still believe landfall will be in northern Old Mexico, but the area I indicated earlier remains a possibility, which is as far north northern Texas/Louisiana.
DISCUSSION: The ridge over the Gulf which is steering ALEX is and will weaken, which will be replaced by a strengthening trough located near Hudson's Bay. This trough over the next week will increasingly dominate the flow over the Gulf. The issue is how much and when. I think we will get some early idea tomorrow. My thinking is that it will be too little too late, but right now it is a sorta close call. If ALEX goes as I think, it will have little impact on the oil mess. However, if it were to go more northerly and slowdown, it will drive all the oil into the coast, in and NW direction, and Louisiana, North Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and to a somewhat lesser extent Florida will have more oil on shore. Also, if ALEX takes this path, the recovery rigs will almost certainly be shut down. So, all eyes are basically focuses on this low near Hudson's Bay. It is a small world. Tomorrow the picture will be clearer. Right now, the "good guys" are winning.
NEXT FORECAST: Monday morning, June 28
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Peter S. Ray
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