Monday, June 28, 2010

Alex to Become a Hurricane

Tropical Storm Alex has now entered the Western Gulf and will more than likely be a hurricane this time tomorrow. Conditions are very favorable for a rapid development of Alex with warm water and a lack of wind shear. The current forecast track is still brings Alex just south of Brownsville, TX as a strong category 2 hurricane early Thursday. However the overall trend of the tropical forecast models we use is to bring the path of Alex farther to the north. This could not only bring some of the effects to East Texas, but could allow Alex to strengthen to a category 3 hurricane by remaining over the Gulf a little longer.

So what does this mean for your 4th of July Holiday Weekend? Right now if Alex moves on its official track, East Texas would remain dry and hot with highs reaching the lower to middle 90s. If Alex moves farther north, the forecast changes drastically. Alex appears as though it will be a very large storm with tropical storm force winds extending at least 200 miles from the center. This large circulation would pump lots of Gulf moisture into the area providing thunderstorms with heavy rain to the area Thursday through Saturday.

The greatest threat from Alex will be very heavy rain. Alex is forecast to move very slowly no matter which path he takes. Rainfall rates of over 10 inches could occur along Alex’s path through Saturday. So flash flooding could be a big concern to parts of East Texas if Alex takes a northerly path.

Another threat from Alex as with any land falling tropical system would be isolated weak tornadoes. The northern and eastern quadrants of Alex could produce thunderstorms capable of spawning tornadoes. If Alex moves farther north, then the tornado threat could move into parts of East Texas, especially our southern and western counties.

We will have a much better grasp on Alex and his forecast track over the next 48 hours. We could see anything from sunny hot conditions this upcoming Holiday Weekend to heavy rain and flooding. Please stay with your East Texas News Leader for the latest developments on Alex and its potential effects on East Texas.

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