Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hurricane ALEX is making landfall (TSR Alert)

Hurricane Alex is in te process of coming ashore in northern Mexico. Although the eye of the storm will strike the Mexican coast, the strongest effects of Alex will be felt from Mexico north through Brownsville and all along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. The size of this storm is so bug that all of the Gulf coast is feeling at least an increase in wave action and tropical storm force winds.

Hurricane Alex currently has sustained winds of 90 MPH with gusts of 95 MPH making Alex a strong category 1 storm. It is still possible that Alex may strengthen further before completely making landfall.
The active radar track shows that the leading edges of the storm are already on shore providing very heavy rain along the coast.


N Atlantic: Storm Alert issued at 30 Jun, 2010 21:00 GMT

Hurricane ALEX (AL01) is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):

Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
probability for CAT 1 or above is 80% within 9 hours
probability for TS is 100% currently
Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
San Fernando (24.8 N, 98.2 W)
probability for CAT 1 or above is 40% within 9 hours
probability for TS is 100% currently

Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
the United States
probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% within 9 hours
probability for TS is 100% currently
Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
Brownsville (25.9 N, 97.5 W)
probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% within 9 hours
probability for TS is 100% currently
Aldama (23.0 N, 98.1 W)
probability for TS is 90% within 9 hours
Tampico (22.2 N, 97.8 W)
probability for TS is 85% within 9 hours
Armstrong (26.9 N, 97.8 W)
probability for TS is 80% within 9 hours
Ciudad Victoria (23.7 N, 99.1 W)
probability for TS is 55% in about 21 hours

Green Alert City(s) and Town(s)
Monterrey (25.7 N, 100.3 W)
probability for TS is 35% in about 21 hours

Note that
Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.
Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
Green Alert (Low) is TS to between 31% and 50% probability.
CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

For graphical forecast information and further details please visit

This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Aon Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alex becomes a hurricane

Tropical Storm Alex has been upgraded to a hurricane this evening. The storm is so large that it took longer than initially expected for Alex to pull together and amass the higher windspeed of a hurricane as compared to a tropical storm. The hurricane watch issued yesterday has been upgraded to a hurricane warning. The tropical storm watch has been upgraded to a tropical storm warning and has been extended to include the coast south of the hurricane warning from La Cruz, MX to Cabo Rojo, MX.

Alex: First hurricane of Atlantic season (The Weather Channel)
Alex was upgraded to the season's first hurricane as of 10 pm CDT Tuesday. It is located 255 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas.

Alex's forward motion has slowed a tad, now sliding west at 9 mph. This motion should continue through Wednesday.

Hurricane warnings are now in effect from Baffin Bay, Texas south to La Cruz, Mexico. A tropical storm warning is in effect north of the hurricane warning from Baffin Bay to Port O'Connor and south of the hurricane warning from La Cruz to Cabo Rojo.

Out ahead of Alex, tropical storm conditions should start in the warning areas by Wednesday morning. Further strengthening is likely as Alex moves over the very warm water in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Atmospheric conditions also favor strengthening with very little wind shear and excellent outflow due to a large ridge of high pressure over the cyclone.
Radar images showed some outer rain bands coming ashore from Texas all the way to the Florida panhandle. Higher waves are already being seen across most of the gulf coast.

Winds, rain, surf from Alex to rake southern coast (Houston Chronicle)

Wind and rain from Hurricane Alex was expected to lash south Texas on Wednesday, with high surf expected to pound most of the Texas Gulf Coast, according to the National Weather Service.

The three furthest south counties on the Texas coast — Kenedy, Willacy and Cameron counties — were under a hurricane warning Wednesday as the storm center was expected to come ashore south of the mouth of the Rio Grande.

The National Weather Service in Brownsville advised that the area will begin seeing sustained tropical storm-force winds of 40 mph or more by midday and sustained hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or more as early as sunset. Hurricane-force winds were expected to continue until around midnight before slowly diminishing, with tropical storm-force winds expected west to Falcon Lake and as far north as Port O'Connor expected Wednesday afternoon and evening.

No evacuations are being ordered on either side of the border but the potential does exist that Alex may grow further to a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall. Alex's current forward direction appears to be due west which will limit the amount of time available for Alex to strengthen. A category 2 hurricane will have strong enough winds that could cause some structural damage and will dump a lot of rain on the area.

Texas Governor Perry has already declared 19 counties disaster areas in advance to allow faster response should there be any damage. President Obama also declared a federal disaster declaration for the same 19 counties.

Hurricane Alex Lands In Southern Texas (Epoch Times)
Governor of Texas, Rick Perry has declared 19 counties on southern Texas coast states of disaster. “Tropical Storm Alex is now in the Gulf, and it is imperative that residents pay attention to this storm, heed warnings from their local leaders, and take the steps necessary to protect their families, homes, and businesses,” said the governor according to a press release from his office. No notice of evacuation has been issued, but 2,500 guardsmen, 100 buses, 8 helicopters and 3 aircrafts have been activated for immediate assistance if needed.

There is a possibility that the hurricane will upgrade to Category 3 though it is not forecasted right now, said Andy Mussoline, a representative from

Hurricane Alex is expected to land with a speed between 96 mph to 110 mph. The hurricane will certainly cause heavy thunder storms in southern Texas and part of the area by the coastline of Louisiana. A certain degree of coastal flooding will also follow, mostly likely in southern Texas and Tamaulips, Mexico. Though there has been no official arrangement of evacuation, “warnings have been sent out, so is it recommended for residents of affected area[s] to evacuate,” said Mussoline. He also pointed out that people should stay indoors to avoid lightning strick, and those at home may encounter roof, window and power damage, so preparation should be made in advance.

The Hurricane Prep Center also recommends enough storage of drinking water, and food, and other basic groceries for more than seven days, in case the hurricane becomes a Category 3.

Darby now a tropical depression - soon to dissipate

The storm that was Hurricane Darby has now diminished to a tropical depression with winds below 30 MPH. Further reduction in windspeed is expected throughout the day and Darby will likely break apart completely by tomorrow.

The National Hurricane Center is no longer tracking this system but Tropical Storm Risk is still showing the projected track of this system. The remnants of Darby are heading for the Mexican coast just south of the city of Puerto Angel. Heavy rain may be experienced over the next day or so.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hurricane and Tropical Storm watch posted

A hurricane watch has been posted from Baffin Bay, Texas to La Cruz, Mexico and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued rom Baffin Bay north to Port O'Connor. A watch signifies that the conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Alex is expected to strengthen to hurricane status and may possibly become a major hurricane. Computer models contine to indicate that Alex will head towards south Texas or Northern Mexico most likely making landfall near Brownsville. See the previous posts (below) for an amateur analysis of where Alex will go and a up to date graphic showing the projected storm tracks.

This year the National Hurricane Center changed when watches and warnings are being issued. Watches will now be issued 48 hours in advanced of the anticipated event and indicate that the stated condition may exist in the area. Warnings are now issued 36 hours in advance and indicate that the stated conditions are expected in the area within that time. (source: The Weather Channel)

The purpose for the more earlier issues of these advisories is to provide sufficient time for prearation. If you are in a watch area, you have 48 hours to prepare for the event. I a watch os upgraded to a warning, then you have 36 hours from the issuance of that warning to complete your preparations. Once tropial storm or hurricane conditions exist, there is no more time for further preparatons. At that point all preparations need to be complete and acted upon whether that means that you are hunkering down or evacuating.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alex projected storm tracks continue to shift to the north

The above graphic (courtesy of is the current live computer model projections of the track that Tropical Storm Alex is likely to take as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico.
Earlier today we presented an analysis of where Alex would go and why we thought that would be the case. One issue that we pointed out is that the bulk of the model tracks appears to be drifting more to the north. Saturday night the storm tracks all pointed to the central Mexico coast. Now they all seem concentrated at the northern Mexico coast near Brownsville, TX. The entire Texas coast is at risk with the approach of Alex.

Both Celia and Darby are downgraded

Hurricane Celia and Hurricane Darby have both diminished to a Tropical Storm early today.

Tropical Storm Celia has essentially stalled and is dying inplace. This system will soon be a tropical depression and then fissle out in place.

Tropical Storm Darby has turned towards land. Darby's forward motion has slowed and the storm is expected to become a tropical depression soon. However, it is still possible that Darby, or the remnants of Darby could interact with land near the Acapulco area. Winds would not be an issue, but heavt rain could result.

Will TS Alex turn away from the oil?

There is rightfully a great deal of concern regarding whether Tropical Storm Alex will affect the oil in the Gulf of Mexico or if the storm track will take it away from the spill.

Throughout this week, the computer models were very divergent. After crossing the Yucatan Peninsula, the individual model tracks scattered across the Gulf spreading between Louisiana and Florida. As the week progressed, the model predictions focused on two areas for potential landfall - southeastern Louisiana and deep south Texas/Mexico Gulf coast. Many news articles were pointing to doom and gloom stating that the storm was coming close to the oil.

By Saturday, all models were converged on a Mexico landfall as shown in the graphic to the right (source: Examiner). This is the best possible location for a storm that is going to enter the Gulf of Mexico with regard to interaction with the oil slick. So does this mean that there is nothing to worry about with regard to the interaction of the storm with the oil slick? Absolutely NOT!

Models change with new data

Computer models are only as good as the data that are supplied to them. As conditions change, the models change to accommodate the new information. Within a day, model tracks were again showing the potential for landfall in southeast Texas or Louisiana. While the most likely pathway for this storm is towards Mexico, there is a potential that a more northerly route could be taken.

The more north the storm travels, the more that it will affect or impact the area of the spill. Even if the storm track keeps Alex in the western Gulf, the possibility of increased wave action could make an already difficult task even more so. As the storm track takes the storm more to the northern portions of the gulf, the edges of the storm will moves more eastward resulting in heavier surf and stronger winds.

The fact that the oil spill is located in essentially the central Gulf of Mexico, there are few areas in the Gulf where the presence of a storm of any size won't have an effect.

The graphic to the left shows the model tracks as they exist mid-day Sunday. (source: While the vast majority of the storm tracks are showing landfall just south of Brownsville, TX, two are indicating the storm track to pass over Galveston Bay while a third brings the storm to southwest Louisiana.

We should also note that the storm tracks showing landfall in Mexico and Texas are significantly further north than a day earlier. As the steering currents fluctuate, the projected tracks will change accordingly.

Steering Currents

So, the million dollar question is: "Where is Alex going to go?"

One place to look is at the barometric pressure over the southern region of the US. As the diagram shows (source: Golden Triangle Weather Page), there appears to be a ridge of higher pressure over the southeastern US.

The pressure from Tennessee to the Eastern Gulf is 1012 mbar. Lower pressure of 1006 mbar extends from Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle down into north central Mexico. I assume that even lower pressure is in place further south in Mexico. Also a Bermuda High is developing off the eastern seaboard.

These high pressure regions will tend to push Alex towards the west. However, we must keep in mind that the map above is a snapshot frozen in time. We do not know how long these higher pressure areas will remain in position or if the pressure is high enough to form a blocking high that prevents Alex from drifting more eastward. The further east that the pressure moves, the more that Alex will be able to drift to the east and closer to the oil.

The forecast for Alex is that his forward motion is expected to decrease while crossing land and may even slow further or remain stead while over water. The slower Alex moves forward, the more time is available for the steering currents to shift. As long as Alex is over water, he could change direction and head towards the oil.


Is hurricane tracking just a guessing game? No it is based on science with a bit of art. But the science is of a chaotic system that defies a clear, finite model. Probabilities determine where the storm will go. Looking at the current situation, the probability is that Alex will strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane and will head in a northwesterly direction making landfall somewhere near or south of the Texas-Mexico border. This is the most likely scenario as conditions currently exist.

There is a chance that Alex could become stronger than a Cat 2 or remain as a tropical storm. In my opinion, this will depend on his forward speed. If the forward speed increases and Alex heads straight for southern or central Mexico, then there may not be enough time for further development. I do not think that this is likely.

If Alex slows down and remains in the warm Gulf longer, further development is not only possible but likely. Wind shear appears fairly non existent in the southwestern Gulf, but is strong from Texas through Florida and over to the Bahamas along the coast. This means that the best chance for strengthening is for Alex to languish in the area where he is currently predicted to go - southwestern gulf.

If the storm heads north, it could break apart from the wind shear, but not before considerable damage is inflicted with regard to the oil. As the models show, there is a chance that Alex could head to the north. It is not the favorable path at this time, but weather conditions are continually changing.

We are currently 4 - 6 days out before final landfall of Alex. The best odds are that he will hit northeastern Mexico. But it is not a given. A storm in the Gulf can be a very fickle thing.

Tropical Storm Alex slams into Belize

Tropical Storm Alex made landfall last night with 65 MPH winds dumping heavy rain on the Central American nation. The storm is slowly weakening as it crosses the Yucatan headed for the Gulf of Mexico. Alex has already weakened to a tropical depression but is expected to begin strengthening later this evening after it enters the Gulf.

Tropical Storm Alex onshore in Belize. (Examiner)

As of the 11 pm EDT advisory, Tropical Storm Alex has made landfall in Belize and winds are down to 60 mph. Some weakening will take place as it travels over land through Sunday, but watch the video of the satellite loop at landfall below. Also check out the images and forecasts in the slide show here.

Tropical Storm Alex was moving to the west northwest through Belize at 12 mph, and was 20 miles northwest of Belize City, which appears to have taken a direct hit. This is a large storm with tropical storm force winds extending 105 miles from the center.

Alex Landfall Belize IR (Examiner)

Tropical Storm Alex is now located near the border between Belize and Mexico and is moving slowly to the northwest. The size of this storm indicates that there is a lot of potential for Alex to strengthen once it re-enters the warm water. Forecasts are indicating that Alex will reach Category 2 status before making landfall along the Mexican gulf coast or in far south Texas.

Tropical Storm Alex makes landfall in Belize (Reuters)

Alex, the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, had sustained winds of near 40 miles per hour (65 km per hour) and was located about 55 miles (90 km) southwest of Chetumal, Mexico.

The storm was expected to ease its pace as it moved over Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula overnight, the Miami-based center said at 2 a.m. EDT/0600 GMT.


Alex was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph) but its speed should decrease as it moves over land.

"Strengthening is forecast on Sunday night and Monday after Alex moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico," the center said.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the coast of Belize and the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Cancun. The hurricane center said the warning would likely be lifted later on Sunday.

But tropical storm-force winds were still occurring off the east coast of Belize from near Belize City northeast to Ambergris Cay and Cayo Norte, Mexico, according to the center.

Alex was expected to bring 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) of rain to the Yucatan Peninsula, southern Mexico, northern Guatemala, Honduras and Belize through Monday morning. Isolated amounts of up to 15 inches (38 cm) were possible over mountainous areas.

"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," according to the center.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TSR Storm Alert - Tropical Storm ALEX makes landfall in Belize

Tropical Storm Alex is currently making landfall on the coast of Belize. Heavy rain is falling throughout Belize, in northern Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Tropical Storm Public Advisory (Weather Underground)
at 700 PM CDT...0000 UTC...the center of Tropical Storm Alex was
located near latitude 17.4 north...longitude 88.1 west. Alex is
moving toward the west near 12 mph...19 km/hr...and this general
motion is expected to continue for the next two days. On this
track...Alex will move inland over Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula
this evening...move across the Yucatan Peninsula tonight and
Sunday...and enter the southern Gulf of Mexico by Sunday afternoon
or Sunday evening.
Alex currently has winds of 65 MPH which will likely diminish due to interaction with land. However, once the storm re-emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, Alex is expected to strengthenback into a tropical storm and possibly into a low grade hurricane.
N Atlantic: Storm Alert issued at 26 Jun, 2010 21:00 GMT
Tropical Storm ALEX (AL01) is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 30% currently
        probability for TS is 100% currently
        probability for TS is 90% within 9 hours
Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Belize City (17.5 N, 88.2 W)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 30% within 9 hours
        probability for TS is 100% currently
    Aldama (23.0 N, 98.1 W)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 93 hours
        probability for TS is 15% in about 69 hours
    Tampico (22.2 N, 97.8 W)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 93 hours
        probability for TS is 15% in about 69 hours
    Tuxpan (21.0 N, 97.4 W)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 69 hours
        probability for TS is 20% in about 69 hours
    Veracruz (19.2 N, 96.1 W)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 93 hours
        probability for TS is 20% in about 69 hours

Green Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
        probability for TS is 50% currently
Green Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Roatan (16.3 N, 86.5 W)
        probability for TS is 50% currently
    Chetumal (18.5 N, 88.3 W)
        probability for TS is 40% within 9 hours
    Belmopan (17.1 N, 88.8 W)
        probability for TS is 40% within 9 hours

Note that
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    Green Alert (Low) is TS to between 31% and 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

For graphical forecast information and further details please visit

This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Aon Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Atlantic Depression Forms

The first tropical depression in the Atlantic Basin developed today in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Honduras. The system is expected to intensify to tropical storm strength overnight and remain as a tropical storm as it makes landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Graphic courtesy of Weather Underground

The storm is expected to cross the Yucatan and enter the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday night. The water temperature in the gulf is very warm. This high temperature will promote the development of this system back into a tropical storm once in the gulf unless wind shear is strong enough to prevent formation.

Atlantic Has Its First Tropical Depression of 2010 Season (AccuWeather)

Tropical Depression One is forecast by meteorologists to soon become a tropical storm, and then possibly a hurricane over the next several days. The depression is currently located 355 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico and has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

The first name on the list of Atlantic tropical cyclones this season is "Alex."

The depression destined to become Alex will drift across the Yucatan, Mexico this weekend, producing heavy rain and gusty thunderstorms. There is an elevated risk of flash flooding and mudslides over a broad area of Central America as a result of the system drifting slowly to the northwest.

A window of movement ranging from Louisiana to Tamaulipas, Mexico exists for possible storm tracks next week, as the system is expected to emerge on the northwestern side of the Yucatan Peninsula later Sunday.

Waters are very warm in the western Caribbean and in much of the Gulf of Mexico. While the system will battle with the Yucatan Peninsula this weekend, strengthening prior to and after engaging the land mass is inevitable.
The storm track once the storm enters the gulf is still unknown with the potential for the system to track from Mexico to Alabama as described in our earlier update. The further west this storm tracks, the better situation with regard to the oil spill in the gulf.

Tropical Storm Alex may be a warning shot or it may be a direct hit on the oil spill. Industry and the federal government need to stop all of the fingerpointing and excuses and get the leak under control immediately because it is a certainty that Alex will not be the only storm to affect the Gulf of Mexico this year. That my friends is a GAR-ON-TEE!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Invest 93 still heading for the Gulf

The tropical disturbance known as Invest 93 is still having difficulty organizing into a named storm. This system has remained south of Haiti as predicted which spacred Haiti of the deluge that would have accompanied tropical weather. The NHC has adjusted the liklihood of this system organizing from as low as 20% chance to as high as 60% (currently as of Thursday evening).

The projected computer models are showing many possible pathways that this system may take, but there is one commonality among all of these possible paths, they all enter the Gulf of Mexico. As is typical with any system that enters the gulf, once in the gulf it could go anywhere. Right now the models are so diverse that this is a factual statement.

Many of the projected paths bring this system to the upper Gulf coast from Louisiana to Alabama. If the models eventually converge to this area and the storm actually follows this track, it will bring the system just to the west of the oil spill which in my opinion is the worst location for a storm to pass in relation to the oil.

Graphic courtesy of Weather Underground

If the storm turns towards Texas or Mexico, then there will be much less if any impact on the oil spill.

Update on Tropical Threat to Gulf Oil Spill Next Week(AccuWeather) meteorologists are still monitoring the potential for a tropical system to enter the Gulf of Mexico late this weekend or early next week and potentially affect the oil spill area thereafter.

Since the system has not yet formed, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in its potential strength and track. The feature of interest is a broad area of showers and thunderstorms currently located near Jamaica.


While tropical development is not a guarantee at this point, computer models are showing two main scenarios for where the feature will track.

A few computer models continue to bring the system over or just east of the Yucatan Peninsula this weekend then farther north-northeast through the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico by early next week. In this scenario, the system would target an area from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle.

In the other scenario, the majority of the computer models are now showing the system taking a more west-northwesterly track, passing over the Yucatan Peninsula this weekend and heading across the western Gulf of Mexico toward Texas or Mexico by next week. This track would steer the system clear of the oil spill area.

While most of the computer models now favor the second scenario, the first is not being ruled out. Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity has taken a look at historical tracks of tropical systems that formed in this part of the Caribbean south of Jamaica. He found that many of these systems tended to take a track similar to the first scenario, heading toward the central or eastern Gulf Coast.

Graphic courtesy of AccuWeather

Pacific storms intensify

Hurricane Celia has grown to a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale but is expected to decrease in strength ovwer the next couple of days. The hurricane is still only a threat to shipping interests and with 130 MPH sustained winds, anyone planning to be in the eastern Pacific should make sure that their pathway steers clear of this storm.

A few miles to the southeast, Darby has grown to hurricane status with 80 MPH sustained winds and gusts up to 95 MPH. For the next 5 days, Hurricane Darby will remain a threat only to shipping interests but after that there is still indications that Darby may turn towards the Mexican coast. This turn to the northeast may be accompanied by a weakening of the system back to a tropical storm but it is still too early to predict this accurately.

Graphics courtesy of Weather Underground

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tropical Storm Darby forms in the East Pacific

Tropical Storm Darby formed off the coast of Guatemala today. This system is preojected to track essentially parallel to the coast for the next 70 hours or so. Indications right now are that the storm will slow and potentially stall after that.

Tropical Storm Risk is projecting the possibility that Darby may tun towards the Mexican coast near Acapulco in about a week or so. This far out it is too early for this to be a firm prediction. All parties along the coast should keep a weather eye to sea as storm squalls could potentially come ashore along the storm's track.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Storm system shifts to the south; likely to develop

We have been watching a tropical wave for the past couple of weeks that initially developed not far from the coast of Africa and had made its way to the eastern edges of the Caribbean. This system has shown signs of development and was threatening Haiti with the potential for heavy rain. Well essentially this system has dissipated.

Now a new system has developed that the National Hurricane Center has designated Invest 93 which is located to the south of where Invest 92 broke apart. The good news is that this system appears to be tracking further south and appears likely to miss Haiti.
Graphic Courtesy of

The bad news is that the tracking for this system shows the potential for the storm to enter the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the conditions are such that further development into a named tropical storm is possible. Water temperatures are quite high in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, as the graphic from Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground shows, the region that this system is tracking through is expected to have low wind shear.

As we have mentioned in the past, the combination of high sea surface temperatures and low wind shear provides the foundation for the development of tropical systems.

If this system does develop and enter the eastern Gulf, there could be some real trouble. The interaction of a tropical storm and the oil from the BP gusher will not be pretty. It is time for all the parties involved to stop pointing fingers, get this leak stopped and get the marshes cleaned up.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Flooding possible for Haiti and rest of Caribbean

It is now fairly apparent that the tropical wave that looked so likely to develop into a named storm is not likely to. Unfortunately, this system has remained together well enough that it is dumping massive amounts of rain as it moves towards the Caribbean and the southeastern US.

The projected path, which can be seen a few posts down, shows that there is a high likelihood that the storm will pass over the island of Hispaniola dumping as much as 6 inches of rain or more onto Haiti. Since the island is so mountainous, the effect of this much rain is likely to be amplified in the form of flash floods.

Flood Threat for Caribbean Islands, Including Haiti (AccuWeather)

The tropical disturbance that was once being monitored for development will continue to produce flooding downpours across portions of the Caribbean islands into this weekend. This includes earthquake-devastated Haiti.

The disturbance's downpours are currently impacting northern parts of the Leeward Islands as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Numerous downpours will next spread over Haiti and the Dominican Republic tonight into Sunday.

The mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, will enhance the rainfall produced by the disturbance.

Some mountainous locations, especially those that face southeast, could receive up to 6 inches of rain. Dangerous mudslides and flooding are serious concerns.

The mountains in far southern Haiti should actually help the nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, escape the heaviest rain. As the air descends from these mountain peaks, some moisture will get lost.

Graphic courtesy of AccuWeather

Tropical Storm Celia forms in the Eastern Pacific

A third tropical storm formed today, quickly growing from a tropical depression to a tropical storm. Tropical Storm Celia has 45 MPH winds and is tracking west, away from land. Celia poses no threat to land and is only a concern to shipping interests. Celia is projected to grow to a Category 2 hurricane over the next 5 days.

Tropical Storm Blas has strengthened with 65 MPH sustained winds and is also moving due west. Blas is positioned in cooler waters and is expected to weaken over the next few days as the water temperature drops further.

Graphics coutesy of Weather Underground.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Invest 92 still a threat in the Atlantic

The tropical disturbance in the Atlantic appeared to be dissipating late last night and early this morning. Now the National Hurricane Center has increased the liklihood of Invest 92 organizing back to 20%.

Regardless if I-92 organizes or not, the projected path of this system will take these storms right over the island of Hispanola, potentially dumping very heavy rain onto earlquake ravaged Haiti.

As the chart below shows, the sea surface temepratures in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico is very warm. Weather Underground is predicting that this system still has the potential to become a tropical storm in 3-1/2 to 4 days. In my un-educated opinion if this system remains even somewhat organized and the windshear becomes or remains low, then this will indeed develop into a named storm.

Invest 92 has certainly demonstrated its staying power. Water temperatures are warm enough to fuel a storm so now upper level straight-line wind appears to be the only variable that remains in deciding whether this system becomes the first named storm of 2010.

Graphics courtesy of Weather Underground

Pacific Coast of Central America quite active

The Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America has been quite active over the past several days.

Tropical depression 2-E formed and then dissipated within a few days. Heavy rain continues to fall along the coast from Acapulco to the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Soon after that, storm broke apart tropical depression 3-E grew and became a tropical storm yesterday. Tropical Storm Blas is 250 miles off the Mexican coast and is heading away from land.

Tropical Storm Blas Forms in Eastern Pacific (AccuWeather)
While Tropical Depression Two-E has dissipated, Tropical Depression Three-E has become the second tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific 2010 Hurricane Season. Yet another system could be born in the region as well.

Tropical Storm Blas is over 250 miles off the coast and no threat to land.

Tropical Storm Blas has a chance at becoming a hurricane before weakening upon moving into colder waters to the west by early next week.

The remnants of Tropical Depression Two-E continue to cause downpours between Acapulco and the Gulf of Tehuantepec.

The former Two-E continues to produce bursts of torrential rain across the southern Mexican coast. The rain will inundate beaches and nearby mountain ranges of the Mexican states of western Oaxaca, Guerrero and Michoacan. This includes Acapulco.

Localized rainfall of up to a foot could pour down. Flash flooding and mudslides are serious concerns.

Gusty winds could graze the coast and nearby mountain ranges, but are expected to be generally under 40 mph.

Another system could develop into a fourth tropical depression. If this does occur, storm movement is expected to be off-shore and should be of litt.le concern to land

Atlantic Disturbance Diminishes

Earlier this week INVEST 92 was recognized as having a strong potential of organizing and developing into the first named tropical system of the 2010 season. It was unusual in that storms rarely develop off the African coast this early in the season, yet that is not unheard of. Tropical Storm Ana developed early in the 1979 season from the same area of the Atlantic Ocean.

As the week progressed and having reached a likelihood of 60% that a depression would form, dry air and shearing winds broke this system apart. The satellite image still shows heavy clouds in the Atlantic that are heading for the windward islands. While the system will not be an organized storm, the potential for heavy tropical rains from this storm are likely in some of the islands.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tropical Wave looks ready to develop

An early tropical wave from the coast of Africa is showing strong signs of developing. This morning the National Hurricane Center was showing that this system had a 20% chance of organizing. Now they are estimating a 60% chance of development.

This system is unusual in that tropical storms typically do not develop in this area of the ocean at this time of the year. Usually this early in the season, the source of tropical weather is in teh Western Caribbean and in the Gulf of Mexico while the African wave machine revs up.

Well this system is showing some good signs of coming together, signs that are easily seen from radar and satellite images. The water temperatures are very warm and there is little wind shear. Everythign indicates the potential that this could become Tropical Storm Alex sometime this week.

VIDEO: Let's Get Ready to Rumble...The Tropics are Bubbling (AccuWeather)

Directional forecasts all indicate that this system is likely to head towards the Lesser Antilles by the end of the week.

Tropical Weather Discussion, Sunday June 13, 2010 at 825 am EDT (Caribbean Hurricane Network)
Invest 92-L Located In The Eastern Atlantic: If this is what the rest of this hurricane season holds, then it's going to be a very, very long and potentially dangerous season!! I am closely monitoring an area of low pressure, labeled Invest 92-L, which is located about 900 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands (8 North Latitude, 32.5 West Longitude). This tropical disturbance is nearing tropical depression status. Satellite imagery this morning showed Invest 92-L becoming better and better organized with each new satellite frame and I think it may be upgraded to Tropical Depression status by this evening or at the very latest early Monday morning. In fact, it may reach tropical storm strength (its name would be Alex) sometime during Monday.

Analysis of this system showed that environmental conditions are favorable for development and intensification as we have very warm sea surface temperatures, good outflow, plenty of moisture and low wind shear values. The latest model guidance is forecasting that the low wind shear values will continue for the next 2 to 3 days and thus they are forecasting 92-L to be a 50 to 70 mph tropical storm in about 3 to 4 days. After that, weakening is forecast by the model guidance due to increasing wind shear values as this system closes in on the Lesser Antilles in 6 days. My take is that we are looking at slow, but steady intensification over the next few days and I expect that we may be looking at a 50 mph tropical storm around Tuesday or at the latest Wednesday.

The latest model track guidance is showing a west-northwest track over the next 2 to 3 days. The model guidance may actually be a bit too far north in their forecast tracks. The reason why I think this is because currently there is a large trough of low pressure located near 50 West Longitude. This trough should lift over the next few days and this will give way to a ridge of high pressure. This weather pattern would favor a west-northwest track over the next several days and the consequences are that this system will be near the Lesser Antilles by about Friday. All interests in the Lesser Antilles should keep close tabs on this system.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cyclone Phet makes landfall near Karachi, Pakistan

Tropical Storm Phet never regained strength after passing over the eastern coast of Oman. The storm dropped from a Category 4 strength prior to striking Oman to a Cat 1 as it passed through the Arabian Sea.

Cyclone Phet weakens after Oman landfall, headed to Pakistan (Physorg)
When Phet made landfall in Oman on June 3, it caused landslides and floods in the eastern part of the country. After landfall Phet weakened and continued heading in a northeasterly direction up Oman's coast and back into the Arabian Sea.

(16 casualties have been reportedsince this report was published)

On June 4 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Tropical Cyclone Phet's were down to 65 knots (74 mph) making it a Category One cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. That's down from the Category Four cyclone it was before it made landfall yesterday. Phet is now 65 miles southeast of Musqat, Oman, near 22.9 North and 59.5 East. It's moving north-northeast near 6 knots (7 mph). Tropical Storm-force winds extend out to 115 miles from the center, so the storm has grown in size since it made landfall. It's now 230 miles in diameter.

On Sunday the storm made landfall around 80 km south of Karachi. Heavy rain caused flooding even in the city but wind damage appears to have been minimal. Ten deaths were caused by electrocution when electrical wires failed.

Phet makes landfall in Karachi (Al Jazeera)

A tropical storm has triggered torrential rains in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, damaging houses and submerging roads.

Heavy rainfall has already been reported in much of the city, and officials fear worse flooding is to come. Rains are expected to continue through the day on Monday.

Officials in Karachi said eight people have been killed by electrocution caused by the storm. They have tried to evacuate thousands from their homes along the country's southern coastline.


In Karachi, hours of rain on Sunday left roads under more than 30cm of water. Electricity was cut in many districts in the mostly low-lying city of 18 million people.

Many parts of Karachi and other towns along Pakistan's coast are desperately poor. Roads, bridges, houses and drainage systems are already in bad condition, making them vulnerable to high winds, heavy rain and rough seas.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Cyclone Phet turns towards to Pakistan

Tropical Cyclone Phet slammed into Oman yesterday and has finally turned towards the northeast heading towards Karachi. The storm has weakened significantly as a result of interaction with land.

Cyclone Phet headed to Pakistan, landfall expected Sunday (Digital Journal)
Tropical Cyclone Phet made landfall in Oman causing landslides and floods and is now back over the Arabian Sea and headed toward Pakistan. Waves in Arabian Sea are 22 feet high. All fishing boats and other water craft have been advised to stay in port.

NASA's Terra satellite have captured infrared and visible images of Tropical Cyclone Phet today that showed the lack of an eye, indicating that the storm had weakened after making landfall in Oman.


When Phet made landfall in Oman on June 3, it caused landslides and floods in the eastern part of the country. After landfall Phet weakened and continued heading in a northeasterly direction up Oman's coast and back into the Arabian Sea. No casualties have been reported.

Tropical Cyclone Phet's maximum sustained winds were down to 65 knots (74 mph) making it a Category One cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. That's down from the Category Four cyclone it was before it made landfall yesterday. Phet is now 65 miles southeast of Musqat, Oman, near 22.9 North and 59.5 East. It's moving north-northeast near 6 knots (7 mph). Tropical Storm-force winds extend out to 115 miles from the center, so the storm has grown in size since it made landfall. It's now 230 miles in diameter.
Phet's projected track will take it near the coast of Pakistan before making landfall near Karachi. The storm is expected to continue into Gujarat, India before dissipating. The biggest concern is whether the storm will intensify while over water before striking land a second time. Tropical storm force winds and heavy rain are possible all along the coast throughout the weekend.

Tropical Cyclone Phet Slams into Oman, Headed to Pakistan(AccuWeather)
Remnants of Tropical Cyclone Phet continue to affect coastal Oman on Friday. The storm is shifting its track to the east, likely targeting Karachi, Pakistan, later in the weekend.

The projected path of Phet brings it into contact with millions of lives along the northern Arabian Seacoast in the Middle East into the weekend.

Phet weakened Friday evening EDT with winds decreasing from 74 mph, which is Category 1 hurricane status, to 69 mph. The strongest gusts late in the morning were around 90 mph. The center of the storm at this time had moved back over the Gulf of Oman, tracking north-northeastward and churning more than 450 miles west of Karachi.

Phet slammed into Oman Thursday evening. Soon after landfall, the strength of the storm's maximum sustained winds were equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane. Phet's intensity matched a Category 4 hurricane as recently as early Thursday morning.

The interaction with land is what caused Phet to weaken early this morning, but it remains a potent storm. Damaging winds, pounding surf and torrential rain will continue to slam northeastern Oman, which typically receives only a few inches of rain per year.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Super cyclone Phet pounding Oman

Tropical Cyclone Phet continues to move northward heading towards the east coast of Oman. As shown in the graphic to the right (courtesy of AccuWeather) Phet is still expected to curve towards the northeast heading towards Pakistan. The continued path of this storm to the north northwest prior to turning, though, has resulted in a shift of the entire projected track further northward.

The entire coastline of Pakistan is now within the expected track of the storm. Additionally, the Strait of Hormuz is now within the cone of uncertainty. While it is still unlikely that the Strait would be hit directly by Phet, the potential that severe weather would be experienced in the area is more probable.

Dangerous Tropical Cyclone Phet Nears Oman, May Curve to Pakistan (AccuWeather)
A powerful tropical cyclone may lead to a natural disaster, threatening millions of lives along the northern Arabian Seacoast in the Middle East today into the weekend.

Topical Cyclone Phet, in the Arabian Sea, will slam into northeastern Oman tonight, before shifting its track to the east, possibly bringing it near Karachi, Pakistan, over the weekend.

Phet, the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane, with its sustained winds of around 132 mph and gusts to 160 mph as of early Thursday morning, EDT, was nearing the island of Masira just off the coast of Oman.

The storm is expected to curve to the northeast. However, this should not occur until the storm center passes over the northeastern tip of Oman, between the island of Masirah and Sur tonight into Friday.

The storm threatens to unleash destruction from high winds, pounding surf and torrential rain on a location that typically receives only a few inches of rain per year. Conditions in northeastern Oman will deteriorate today as the storm approaches.

People who live on the eastern coast of Oman should have preparations in place for evacuation and or secure shelter. As always please follow the orders and guidance of local emergency personnel. The strength of this storm is very severe, much more severe than is typical for this area of the world.

Heavy rains hit Oman as cyclone Phet approaches (AFP)
Heavy rains hit Oman's east coast on Thursday as cyclone Phet approached the sultanate pushing up from the Arabian Sea and authorities raised the alert level to orange.

The cyclone, rated at a factor of 3.5 on a scale of five, was moving northwestward at a speed of eight kilometres (five miles) an hour. Winds were blowing at a 180 kilometres (112 miles) an hour.

Hotels along the east coast of the sultanate have been evacuated, the ministry of tourism said, and the residents of Masirah island were airlifted to safer areas.

The eye of Phet was still around 150 kilometres (93 miles) away from Masirah.

Phet is expected to bring extremely heavy rain to an area of the world that generally receives only light rain throughout the year. The rain will cause flooding that could turn the dry stream beds, called wadis, into raging rivers of water.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Super Cyclonic Storm PHET intensifies further

Tropical Cyclone Phet has intensified further to a very intense Category 4 super cyclone. The track of this cyclone has been shifting steadily to the west and is now poised to make landfall on the coast of Oman. The cyclone may decrease in strength as it approaches landfall but it will liely still be a hurricane force cyclone when it does strike toe Omani coast.
Tropical Storm Risk (below) is predicting tropical storm force winds within 12 hours and Category 1 force or higher within 24 hours. Current indications are that Phet would actually come ashore in Oman before turning torwards teh northeast and heading towards Pakistan.
Phet would steer clear of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of all seaborne oil trade passes, or about 17 million barrels per day (bpd).
Phet was a Category 3 storm on Wednesday, with sustained winds of over 130 mph. It was expected to become a Category 5 storm, the most powerful with winds of over 156 mph, in the next 24 hours.
Phet would lash Oman's eastern region shores with hurricane-strength winds through Friday before moving northeast. It was expected to weaken before coming ashore just south of Karachi as a Category 3 storm on Sunday.
Once Phet does turn to the north the storm is expected to pick up speed as it moves towards Pakistan and India. The storm is not expected to gain strength once it reemerges in the water.
The Met office said the cyclone was advancing at a pace of six nautical miles and may turn towards Pakistan, the channel reported. The government has issued a warning to citizens against visiting the seaside to avoid any dangerous occurrence.

The administrative department issued warning through loud speakers around the seaside and police had been deputed to stop people from heading to the coastline, the channel reported.

Intensity: According to the warning, the cyclone is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours. The cyclone is likely to move in a north-westerly direction close to the Oman coast and is then expected to re-curve in a north-easterly direction towards the Pakistani coastal areas.

The cyclone intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved in a north-westerly direction during the last 12 hours with a speed of six knots.

Under the influence of this cyclone widespread heavy rains associated with dust and thunderstorms are expected in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan. Sea conditions along the Sindh-Makran coast are also expected to be rough during the next 48 hours. The Met office has warned the fishermen in Sindh and Balochistan in high waters to immediately return to the coast.

N Indian Ocean: Storm Alert issued at 2 Jun, 2010 18:00 GMT
Super Cyclonic Storm PHET (03A) is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 70% in about 24 hours
        probability for TS is 90% within 12 hours
Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Ras ad Daqm (19.7 N, 57.7 E)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 65% in about 24 hours
        probability for TS is 85% in about 24 hours
    Mursays (20.4 N, 58.8 E)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 60% in about 24 hours
        probability for TS is 85% within 12 hours

Green Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Ghanah (18.7 N, 56.7 E)
        probability for TS is 50% in about 24 hours
    Al Ashkhirah (21.9 N, 59.6 E)
        probability for TS is 40% in about 36 hours

Note that
    Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.
    Green Alert (Low) is TS to between 31% and 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Severe Cyclonic Storm strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

For graphical forecast information and further details please visit

This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Aon Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tropical Cyclone Phet growing larger

Tropical Cyclone Phet located in the Arabian Sea near the North Indian ocean has remained essentially stationary over the past 24 hours. Due to the warm surface water temperatures in this area, Phet has intensified to a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with sustained winds of 120 km/hr and gusts up to 144 km/hr.

The current location and track of this storm is bringing it very close to the coast of Oman before it turns suddenly to the northeast and gains in speed. The closer to the Omani coast the storm gets, the more intense it is expected to become eventually reaching as high as 105 kts (195 km/hr).

Source:Tropical Storm Risk

Once Tropical Cyclone Phet turns northeast, it is expected to move very rapidly towards the Pakistani coast passing very close to the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad and into the Indian state of Gujarat.

Cyclone Phet seen soaking arid north-west by weekend (Hindu Business Line)

An India Meteorological Department (IMD) update said that ‘Phet' would intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm and move slowly in a north-northwesterly to northerly direction for the next 24 hours.

It is forecast to re-curve under the influence of opposing flows from an approaching westerly trough (associated with western disturbances over northwest India) and guided northeast to cross Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast.


The London-based Tropical Storm Risk Group said that Karachi and Shahbandar in Pakistan; and Jakhar, Mandvi, Sonmiani, Morbi and Jamnagar in Gujarat could be brought under the fury of the storm of category-2 strength on the Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) shows ‘Phet' settling into a perch over north Gujarat and adjoining south-west Rajasthan 24 hours into landfall on Friday/Saturday but without losing much intensity.

How hurricane season really starts?

Courtesy: Non-Sequitur by Wiley Miller (c) Universal Uclick

Tropical Cyclone 3 (Phet) forms in the Arabian Sea

Tropical Cyclone Three has formed in the North Indian Ocean near the Arabian Sea. Heavy rain and winds continue to organaize and strengthen and are expected to intensify to a Category 1 Cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

The system is slow moving at the moment and is expected to intensify as wind shear diminishes over the next 24 hours. Sometime Wednesday evening or Thursday, this system is expected to turn towards the northeast and increase forward speed significantly making landfall near the Indian - Pakistan border.

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of