Tropical Storm ALEX 6/28/2010 6:30 am

Colleagues, FORECAST:  Tropical Storm ALEX is just off the Yucatan Peninsula, headed MW at 5 mph.  This means, the path is like to move northward, and the storm intensity will increase, up to a possible weak Category 2 at landfall.  Landfall is likely to be within 100 of Brownsville, Texas, near the Texas.Mexico Border, with msw (maximum sustained winds) winds near 100 mph, maybe a little less. Landfall will be early Thursday morning, so there are several days where something unseen could happen.

DISCUSSION: First of all,  msw, is the maximum one minute average of wind speed  at 10 meters (30 feet) height anywhere in the storm.  This measurement is rarely made, and usually inferred from other measurements.  Also, and importantly, winds in a hurricane are chaotic, ranging up to 30% higher and lower than the msw.  These are called gusts.    Secondly, the Ridge is expected to dominate, but the Trough will have some influence, which is pulling the track somewhat northward. Northern Texas and Louisiana are completely out of it as landfall points, and the storm will not come withing 100s of miles of the oil leak.  It will push some oil modestly westward. It will have virtually no effect on any part of Florida.  Tomorrow, the land fall should estimate should improve by a factor of 2.

NEXT FORECAST: Tuesday morning, June 29

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Peter S. Ray

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