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First June hurricane since 1995!

30 Jun 2010, 2:31 pm

There are a ton of graphics I’d like to share today… all pertaining to today’s top weather headline: Alex. We were just waiting to welcome the first hurricane of Atlantic season and sure enough, Alex is now a healthy, Category 1 hurricane in the Gulf (the first June hurricane since 1995).

Hurricane Alex: Visible Satellite
Hurricane Alex: Visible Satellite

Texas started feeling the symptoms earlier this week and weaker bands from the storm arrived yesterday. Choppy waters have been present along the Coastal Bend all week. The eye became visible on radar earlier today:

Alex's eye visibile on radar. Stormy skies at in North Padre.

Alex’s center will make landfall overnight (around 1 AM central time) in the Tamaulipas state of Mexico. The eye could potentially move right over the city of Bahia Algodones.Prior to making landfall, there are indications that this storm will strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 98 mph. A hurricane is considered a Category 2 storm if sustained winds exceed 95 mph.

Alex could strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane before landfall.
Alex will weaken shortly before its center touches land.

There are many questions regarding the oil spill. As many feared, this hurricane will be pushing oil on shore. Winds around a hurricane (or center of low pressure) rotate in a counter clockwise fashion. With the oil spill situation on the east side of this hurricane, south winds will steer that oil onshore.

Archive image: Hurricane vs. Oil - Scenario 2

Keep in mind that the northeast quadrant of a hurricane generally has the heaviest rain, strongest winds and highest storm surge. The Gulf Coast will be feeling this one as the position of the hurricane is ideal for us to feel the worst of it. It’s common to see tornadoes within the bands of the hurricane, and southern Texas’ warning map has been lighting up with tornado warnings:

This hurricane will march its way eastward and much of Texas and even Louisiana will feel the impact of Alex until the end of the workweek. 4th of July weekend is looking unsettled as well, but we certainly won’t be expecting hurricane/tropical storm weather then, though scattered storms my be in store for the area.

Some models are hinting that remnants of this storm could meander into the Midwest. That will throw a wrench into the holiday weekend forecast:

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see. Hoping Mexico, Texas and Louisiana (and BP) will get through this one with minimal problems/damage, but let’s hope they have prepared for the worst.

Susie Martin
WeatherNation Meteorologist

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