Archive for June, 2010

What Happens After Alex?
June 30, 2010

It appears that Alex will NOT be a named storm once whatever is left of it makes it into Oklahoma. However, there may still be some chunks of the storm lingering around The Southern Plains early next week. Given all the information I have seen, this is what I see happening.

Basically, Alex will go from Tropical Depression Alex in Northern Mexico to nothing more than just a low pressure system that is hanging out in Western Mexico. It may briefly make it into The Pacific Ocean before it moves north into Arizona and then into The Texas Panhandle. By Monday/Tuesday, it’ll just be a “disturbance” in the atmosphere that may interact with a cold front moving south. This could help produce some heavy rain early next week.

-Damon

Independence Day Weekend Forecast
June 30, 2010

It’s that time of the year again. Pools are filled, the grill is hot and firework stands are selling 10 for 1 deals. However Hurricane Alex vanishes, what is left of it, likely just a disturbance in the atmopshere, coupled with a front moving in the region and a very tropical like atmosphere, all those ingredients could spark off a few storms. For now, we’ll put in a 20%-30% chance… the models don’t have a clue really… so, we’re working off of experience here…

-Damon

High-Res Images of Alex
June 30, 2010


NASA is at it again, using some of their fancy toys to take some wickedly cool shots of things going on around the world. This image here was actually taken of Alex when it was a Tropical Storm, getting ready to reach hurricane status. If I gathered anything from this image, other than the fact that it looked cool…was that, it looked like Alex was resembling something tasty… is it just me, or does anyone else see a cinnamon roll?

-Damon

If Alex Moves This Way
June 30, 2010

If you’re like me, then you’re probably tired of hearing the term “uncertainity remains in this forecast”. But, when it comes to tropical systems, that’s what we’re forced to say a lot of the time. Why? Think about where a hurricane is for a majority of the time, over water, with very little data being collected other than what buoys and aircraft collect. And while some of the models have shown that what is left of Alex could move this way, how unusual would it be? Afterall, getting remnants of tropical systems in Oklahoma does happen. Check out this graph below.

We are most likely to see what is left of Hurricanes move into Oklahoma in August, September and October. However, the only information I could find on Oklahoma, were storms that still had names to them when they made it into The Sooner State. The Hurricane Center will usually stop tracking a storm once it is no longer a tropical depression and so should “Alex” make it into Oklahoma, it would NOT have a name to it and thus, would just be classified as a low pressure system, if even that.

So, if what is left of Alex moves this way, we could see some rain possible, starting late Saturday and into Sunday. A front though moving in from the north may be the bigger story than Alex is it could make for some locally heavy rain. While this is a possibility, we’re only inserting a slight chance of rain for the moment and will have to wait until the models become a little bit more consistent. This could get interesting…

-Damon

Alex Spaghetti Models
June 30, 2010

It’s official, Alex is now a hurricane, our very first hurricane of the Atlantic season and the first hurricane to form in The Atlantic in June since 1995. So, what are the models thinking about Alex?

It’s pretty clear to see that the storm will make landfall along The Northern Mexico coast sometime early Thursday. And while winds, as of this writing, are in the 80 mph range, the slow movement of the storm and the fact that the warmest ocean waters are currently found right where the storm is heading will likely allow the storm winds to increase to as high as 100 mph. Once on land, the storm will quickly lose energy and within a day will likely be just a low pressure system producing a lot of rain. This part of Mexico is rather sparse, but a few towns like Ciudad Madero and Ciudad Victoria will likely experience some sort of flooding.

-Damon

4th of July
June 29, 2010

Just a little weekend Sneak Peek for you…  At this point the weekend looks mostly dry.  I do expect a few showers into Sunday.  It will likely not be because of Alex or the remnants of Alex, but with a front pushing in, that will be enough to increase rain chances for the second half of the weekend.

Sarah

Alex Update
June 29, 2010

Alex is still a Tropical Storm but it is a strong one.  This storm will likely be upgraded to a Hurricane later tonight.  Alex has encountered some dry air and that has kept it from strengthening as fast as previously forecasted.  I have added a few more computer models to this plot than Damon did.  I just wanted to show you that a few models are still taking the moisture remnants to the north.  I am not quite buying into it, but I would say it is still worth watching.

Here is the ‘Official” track from the National Hurricane Center.

This storm will be a category one storm when it makes landfall.  Mexico will get most of the wind but Texas and Louisiana will see increased rain chances from this storm.  The reason for this, is that the heaviest rain is concentrated in the NW side of tropical systems.  We will let you know if anything major changes but so far the impact on Oklahoma from this storm will be minimal.

Sarah

UPDATE: Alex and Oklahoma
June 29, 2010

If you have been reading these blogs, then you are well aware that on Monday, the models were hinting that the track of Alex, what’s left of it, were likely going to cross right over Oklahoma on July 4th, bringing with it the threat for heavy rain. Now, things look a little more calm out there. Here is the latest spaghetti model that overlays the models on top of each other to show you where the storm is likely to head.

As high pressure builds in across The Southern Plains, the track of Alex, as of right now, is to stay in Mexico before getting caught up in the upper level flow of the atmosphere and becoming a disturbance producing a few hit and miss storms as it moves north and then back across The United States. There is still a chance of rain for Sunday, but the threat is low and certainly not one that I would cancel any outdoor activities for. And yes, this forecast could still change.. but remember that as a storm moves closer to land, we begin to gain more valuable information that makes the track of the storm more credible.

-Damon

June Ends Cool
June 29, 2010

For a while there, I thought we would never see a return of normal temperatures. But, finally, thanks to a cold front on Monday, temperatures are back to more manageable levels.

For most of the month, we were on pace to see one of the warmest June’s on record. However, the surge of “normal” temperatures is now starting to drop our average monthly temperature. Thus, no need to worry about this month going down in the record books. Expect for rain, we did make it the 9th wettest June ever..

-Damon

UPDATE: Tropical Storm Alex and Oklahoma
June 28, 2010

As of the 10AM Hurricane Center update, here is the latest information. Alex is now a strong Tropical Storm with winds of 60 mph. What you’re looking at above is something we call “spaghetti models”. Basically, this takes a number of weather models that The Hurricane Center used and places the tracks on 1 map for an understanding of what the general consensus is of the models. I usually say don’t pay attention to any one particular model, but rather, look at them all as a whole so that you can get an idea of what is going on. A majority of the models want to bring the storm on shore as a hurricane just south of The Texas State Line. Chances are you probably already noticed that, but you may have also noticed the one model, named GHM1, that takes the storm right over Oklahoma City. So, what is this model?  I’ll try to paraphrase it as a dynamical baroclinic track prediction model. The GHM produces experimental forecasts of hurricane intensity and track and was developed by NOAA’S Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University. Again, I wouldn’t look at that model and say that is exactly what is going to happen. But instead, look at the whole picture and compare the models to what they were thinking this time yesterday. 24 Hours ago, the models had the storm moving into Mexico and fizziling out, now, they have the storm moving into Northern Mexico and then becoming a depression. So, what’s the big deal? It’s the fact that the models have pushed the storm to the north, which could have an impact on our weather in time for July 4th. Am I buying this? Not quite yet. If a model can change that much in 1 day, imagine how much it can change in 5 days!

-Damon