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.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bonnie weakens while heading towards New Orleans

A disturbance that was Tropical Storm Bonnie and weakened to a tropical depression after crossign the southern end of Florida broke apart further and has now been classified as a tropical rainstorm. Since entering the Gulf of Mexico, Bonnie has been quite lopsided with most or all of its rain situated on the eastern portion of the storm. A tropical depression needs to have a closed circulation to be classified as a cyclone.

Bonnie a Tropical Rainstorm; Thunderstorms Main Impact (AccuWeather)
Thunderstorms are the main impact from Bonnie, which weakened to a tropical rainstorm Saturday afternoon as it approached southeastern Louisiana.

At 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, Bonnie was centered about 100 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Without thunderstorms wrapping around its center, Bonnie has been downgraded to a tropical rainstorm.

Strong southeasterly winds high in the atmosphere, also known as wind shear, caused Bonnie to weaken.

Bonnie will continue to move in a west-northwest fashion. The Hurricane Center expects Bonnie to come onshore not far to the southeast of New Orleans Saturday night.

Even so, all alerts for Bonnie have been lifted. What was Bonnie will come ashore as a series of gusty thunderstorms. While sustained winds are no longer the issue, strong gusts reaching tropical storm force could be seen with some of the thunderstorms coming ashore. Caution should be maintained as in any strong thunderstorm but damage is not expected as the system makes landfall in southeastern Louisiana.

All warnings lifted as Bonnie becomes a remnant low (
The remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie turned into a disorganized low Saturday afternoon, as what was left of the storm was sheared apart by atmospheric winds. The National Hurricane Center lifted all tropical storm warnings for the Gulf Coast Saturday morning.

Winds had dropped to 30 mph, and the only thunderstorm activity associated with the storm was in a small area to the north of the center. At 4 p.m. CDT, the low pressure system that used to be Bonnie was located at roughly latitude 28.5 north, longitude 87.6 west. The depression was moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph. The center was expected to move inland somewhere between southeast Louisiana and Alabama late Saturday or Sunday.

Flooding in China

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives is credited with the phrase "All politics are local". I would claim that the same is true for the weather - all weather is local. We might notice bad weather in the news or a severe storm or flood someplace, but until it happens in your town or neighborhood, it does not have the same impact.
A good example of this is the number of hurricanes that make landfall. I can recall more than one year where the prediction of a strong hurricane season was met with disbelief - "They say that every year and we don't get hit". People frequently equated a strong tropical season to mean that their area of the coast would be affected. When it wasn't, they felt that the forecast was exaggerated. Many people did not recognize that the forecast covered the entire Atlantic Basin whether the storms made landfall or not.
Of course this type of thinking essentially came to an end with the strong 2005 season.
Since last year we have expanded from the US Gulf Coast and Atlantic Seaboard to track tropical weather around the globe. As best as we can with the information available, we try to bring up to date information regarding typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes and other tropical weather in other parts of the world.
Even so, a tropical storm or hurricane heading for Louisiana stirs a much stronger feeling of concern or dread than a typhoon heading for Hong Kong. It is not that we all as residents of this planet do not care about our neighbors, rather, when it hits closer to home it strikes just a bit harder.
I am thinking of this as I sit in the Shanghai Pudong airport in Shanghai, China waiting for a domestic flight to Shenzhen in southeastern China (across the bay from Hong Kong). My flight has been delayed and a wonder how much of it is due to bad weather. The southern third of China has been inundated with very heavy rain and severe flooding. Over 700 people have died due to the flooding. To add to the disaster that this is, Typhoon Chanthu slammed into the south China provinces of Guangdong, Hainan and Guanxi a few days ago. Three deaths have been attributed to Chanthu's strong winds.
To make things even worse, the tropical rainstorm that was Chanthu is still dumping heavy rain over the region, adding to the flooding in an already drenched region.
Chanthu has lost its typhoon status but remains a serious threat to lives and property as it unleashes flooding rain over southern China and neighboring Vietnam.
Chanthu will continue to drop torrential rain over the southern Chinese states of western Guangxi and eastern Yunnan, as well as far northern Vietnam. The rain near the border of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and China is not directly related to Chanthu.
Chanthu will then push farther westward across Yunnan on Saturday. Later in the weekend and early next week, the system and its heavy rain will get drawn into the zone of persistent storminess that extends into northern India.
Chanthu will unleash several inches of rain across southern China and neighboring parts of northern Vietnam into Saturday. The mountains will endure the heaviest rain totals.
The rainfall alone being produced by Chanthu threatens to trigger serious flash flooding and dangerous mudslides. Since Chanthu follows recent rounds of torrential rain, flooding problems will quickly occur and ongoing flooding will worsen.
A week earlier Typhoon Conson slammed into western Hainan and northern Vietnam.
Conson and Chanthu added to a continuous pattern of heavy rain that appears to be driven by a strengthening La Nina. Heavy rain and flooding has been occurring over the past month or so in southwestern and central China. Comprehensive coverage has been compiled by China Daily in "China Combats Rainstorms, Floods".
The situation is severe enough that China's Premier is stressing that local governments must prepare for continuing and additional flooding using scientific flood control methods to combat the onslaught of water.
WUHAN - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has ordered local governments to adopt scientific measures to prepare well for "more serious floods and disasters" as some of the country's major rivers saw water levels surpass their warning levels.
Wen said China was at a "crucial stage" for flood control during an inspection tour in central China's Hubei Province that began July 23.
The upper reaches of the Yangtze, the nation's longest river, have seen the highest flood peak since 1987, and water levels on its middle and lower reaches were over the warning levels for the first time since 2003.
Wen ordered local governments to step up patrols and guard against potential risks to ensure the safety of major rivers, large and medium-sized reservoirs and key infrastructure facilities.
He called for the scientific use of major flood control projects including the Three Gorges Dam and the Danjiangkou reservoir to coordinate water volumes in the upper and lower reaches of rivers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tropical Storm Bonnie crosses Florida

Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall south of Miami yesterday and has crossed the southern Florida peninsula as a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 MPH. 
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Gulf coast as Bonnie begins moving over South Florida.
The storm is following a course that would take it across the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, prompting a pause in efforts to clean up the disaster.
Bonnie made landfall in Florida south of Miami on Friday morning with top sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm was on a track to pick up strength as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico, reaching the site of the massive oil spill by Sunday.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye of Bonnie came ashore at midday near Cutler Bay, about 20 miles south of Miami. There were no immediate reports of damage.
The new tropical storm warning area extends from parts of Florida to Louisiana.
The storm is expected to strengthen when it moves into the Gulf of Mexico late Friday night and Saturday.
Efforts to completely seal the leaking BP oil well and clean the spill have been halted and the workers have been evacuated from the area due to the expectation of high waves from the storm. The cap that is currently in place will be left in place. Earlier concerns were that teh cap would have to be removed but it appears that it is secure enought that it will withstand the effects of Bonnie as the storm crosses the area.
At the spill site, the water no longer looks thick with gooey tar. But the oil is still there beneath the surface, staining the hull of cutters motoring around in it.
Marc Jones, a former Navy officer who helped lead the Exxon Valdez cleanup in 1989, said a storm will churn any oil in its path, causing it to thicken. "It cuts the options .... You cannot use dispersants, cannot burn it," he said.
The cap that stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf a week ago will remain in place "even if the well is unattended," Allen said.
A week of steady measurements through cameras and other devices convinced Allen they don't need to open vents to relieve pressure on the cap, which engineers had worried might contribute to leaks underground and an even bigger blowout. The cap was attached a week ago, and only minor leaks have been detected.
Pressure inside the well has risen steadily since the cap was installed, giving BP confidence that the cap on the well will hold, BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells said.
BP will monitor the well as the storm approaches and resume monitoring as early as possible after it passes, Wells said, adding that BP is confident "that we can go away from the well site ... over that period."
Scientists seem to agree, saying even a severe storm shouldn't affect the well cap, nearly a mile beneath the ocean surface 40 miles from the Louisiana coast. "Assuming all lines are disconnected from the surface, there should be no effect on the well head by a passing surface storm," said Paul Bommer, professor of petroleum engineering at University of Texas at Austin.
Charles Harwell, a BP contractor monitoring the cap, was also confident.
"That cap was specially made, it's on tight, we've been looking at the progress and it's all good," he said after his ship returned to Port Fourchon, La.
Cleanup operations also have been affected, said Zukunft, the federal on-scene coordinator for spill response.
Fifteen heavy offshore skimmers have pulled away from the well site and 1,300 fishing boats and private vessels involved in placing boom and skimming operations have been ordered to seek shelter, Zukunft said.
"We're ... moving boom and other resources in the area to higher ground," he said.
The storm weakened to a tropical depression as it entered the Gulf of Mexico due to the interaction with land as it crossed the peninsula. Bonnie is expected to regain strength but it will remain a tropical storm as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico towards Louisiana.
Bonnie now a tropical depression (The Weather Channel)
Tropical Depression Bonnie is moving into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 5 p.m. Eastern Time Friday, the center of Bonnie was located about 35 miles south of Fort Myers, FL, or about 485 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with top winds near 35 miles per hour. Bonnie is currently moving to the west-northwest near 18 miles per hour, and is expected to maintain this general speed and direction through Saturday.
Bonnie may strengthen to tropical storm status again Saturday, but most likely will not become a hurricane.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the northern Gulf Coast between Destin, Florida, and Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tropical Storm Bonnie forms; head towards oil

Tropical Storm Bonnie formed last night in the Caribbean amongst the islands of the Bahamas. The storm has 40 MPH sustained winds and is expected to remain a tropical storm as it crosses into the Gulf of Mexico. Some strengthening may occur in the Gulf but as of now Bonnie is not expected to become a hurricane.

Currently Bonnie is passing through the Bahamas affecting areas that have a high tourist and resident population.So far there is no damage but the concern is that as the storm passes through more heavily populated areas that people in those areas need to maintain vigilance.

Tropical Storm Bonnie moving toward oil spill (Associated Press)

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tropical Storm Bonnie steamed through the central Bahamas on Thursday night while tracking a course that could take it over the site of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Rain and lightning raked the low-lying Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas, and forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm could reach the Gulf of Mexico by Saturday.

On Thursday night, Bonnie had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph), and was centered about 165 miles (265 kilometers) southeast of the Bahamian capital of Nassau and was approaching the northwestern Bahamas.

On Friday, the center of Bonnie was expected to pass near or over the Florida Keys and part of the southern Florida peninsula. U.S. forecasters said slow strengthening of the storm was possible during the next 48 hours.

Capt. Stephen Russell, director of the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency, said there were no reports of major damage, flooding or injuries on islands in the southeastern and central Bahamas already passed by the storm. The storm wasn't yet clear of the most heavily populated islands in the northeast, including New Providence and Grand Bahama.

"We are advising everyone to remain vigilant throughout the night and early morning when the storm exits the Bahamas," Russell said.

The bigger concern is Bonnie's approach to the Gulf oil spill. As Bonnie reaches the central Gulf, the wind will force oil away from land and out into the Gulf. If oil reaches the Loop Current, then it could be carried around Florida and onto the eastern seaboard. CNN International reported this morning that a strong eddy current exists in the central Gulf that would contain the oil and prevent it from reaching the Loop Current.

Then as the storm progresses, the oil will be first pushed to the west and then to the north back towards land. Computer models are currently showing the potential paths for this storm range essentially across the entire coastline of Louisiana (and a little bit of southeast Texas) with the most likely location for landfall occurring in southwest Louisiana near Cameron Parish.

Louisiana's Governor Jindal is asking residents to prepare for a Category 1 hurricane even though the storm is not expected to reach that strength. The idea, as we have stated int eh blog many times is to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

State Preps for Tropical Storm Bonnie

Governor Bobby Jindal says to prepare for a category one hurricane. He's declared a state of emergency as a storm threatens to hit coast on Sunday.

"You've heard me say this many times over hurricane seasons.. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst." Governor Bobby Jindal is prepping for the possible landfall of Tropical Storm Bonnie. Experts don't expect anything more than a tropical storm at most. Still, it's too soon to tell. "So I think it would be prudent to at least look and get ready as if we are getting ready for a category one hurricane," says Jindal.

Projected landfall is Sunday and it's not slowing down. "On the good side, it's moving quickly. On the bad side, it's spending more time over the water," says Jindal.

At the oil spill site -- six to eight feet are expected with 40 mile per hour winds. Jindal says local leaders will make the decision to evacuate people in low lying areas outside of levee protection. At least seven Southwest Louisiana parishes are declaring a state of emergency.

TSR Storm Alert - Typhoon CHANTHU

Typhoon Chanthu has come ashore in south China in the western corner of Guangdong province. The storm is heading west into Guangxi province. This area has been inundated with very heavy rains and bad flooding for the past several weeks.

NW Pacific: Storm Alert issued at 22 Jul, 2010 6:00 GMT
Typhoon CHANTHU (04W) 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 100% currently
        probability for TS is 100% currently
Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Zhanjiang (21.2 N, 110.3 E)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 100% currently
        probability for TS is 100% currently
    Maoming (21.9 N, 110.9 E)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 65% currently
        probability for TS is 100% currently

Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
        probability for TS is 65% in about 24 hours
Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Beihai (21.6 N, 109.2 E)
        probability for CAT 1 or above is 30% within 12 hours
        probability for TS is 85% currently
    Nanning (22.8 N, 108.3 E)
        probability for TS is 80% within 12 hours
    Haikou (20.0 N, 110.4 E)
        probability for TS is 70% currently

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.
    CAT 1 means Typhoon 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.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tropical Storm Chanthu edges closer to China

Tropical Storm Chanthu is moving closer to the south China coast and is expected to make landfall early Thursday morning local time. The storm has been gaining strength with wind speeds expected to exceed 80 MPH (130 km/hr) which would make Chanthu a Category 1 typhoon. At midnight sustained winds of 63 MPH (102 km/hr) were reported by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Tropical Storm Chanthu is expected to make landfall near Hainan Island in the far western corner of Guandong province.
A tropical storm is expected to make landfall in South China early Thursday, adding more weather woes to a region that's already been deluged.
According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the Qiongzhou Strait between the Chinese mainland and Hainan island was closed Wednesday as tropical storm Chanthu headed toward south China.
Chanthu's eye is expected to make landfall between Guangdong's coastal city of Yangjiang and Hainan's Qionghai City sometime Thursday.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center said the storm has sustained winds of 63 mph (102 kph) which are expected to grow to nearly 81 mph (130 kph). The center is operated by the U.S. Navy and Air Force in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The tropical storm will bring gales and heavy rain to southern and eastern coastal areas of China, including Guangdong and Hainan, over the next 24 hours. The statement said coastal areas of Guangdong are likely to be most affected by the storm.
As the outer rainbands of the storm came ashore in Hong Kong last night, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a Strong Wind Warning No. 3 indicating that the area would experience gale force winds of 41 - 62 km/hr (25 - 39 MPH).

HK Observatory issues tropical cyclone warnings on Chanthu (Xinhua)
HONG KONG, July 21 (Xinhua) -- As tropical storm Chanthu continues to move closer to Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a tropical cyclone bulletin on Wednesday afternoon, raising the warning to Strong Wind Signal No. 3.
This means that winds with mean speeds of 41 to 62 kilometers per hour are expected, said the Hong Kong Observatory.
At 5 p.m. HK time (0900 GMT), Chanthu was estimated to be about 410 km south-southwest of Hong Kong and is forecast to move northwest at about 12 km per hour, edging closer to the coast of western Guangdong, said the bulletin.
The outer rainbands of Chanthu are affecting Hong Kong. As Chanthu continues to move closer, winds will strengthen overnight, it said.'
On Wednesday afternoon, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Tate's Cairn and Cheung Chau in southwest Hong Kong were 46 and 36 km per hour, respectively, it said.

New system developing near Puerto Rico

A tropical wave is slowly but steadily developing near Puerto Rico and showing signs of continuing organization. The NHC is forecasting A 70% likelihood that this system will become a tropical storm.

The computer models all appear to be well converged on a path for this system that will take it across southern Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. At this time, it is expected that the system will strengthen to tropical storm but it is not expected to strengthen beyond that. The next tropical storm that forms will be named Bonnie.

Currently the system is in an area of moderate wind shear so development has been rather slow. However within the next 24 - 48 hours the system will move to the northwest which will bring it into an area where wind shear is much more favorable for development. That is also around the timing when the system will become a tropical storm.

Tropical wave slowly organizing near Puerto Rico(NBC News 2)

This system has showed better organization of a mid-level circulation center since last night, but even this morning, several thunderstorm bursts have been competing for dominance.

A low-level center, necessary to start the transition to a tropical cyclone, is not well-defined yet.

Some forecast models indicate slow strengthening

Several of the morning computer models do develop a tropical depression by Wednesday through Thursday as the system continues to parallel the Greater Antilles moving toward the Bahamas or South Florida by Friday. The morning GFDL model takes a minimal tropical storm toward the Space Coast.

None of the forecast models indicates development of a hurricane.

Rapid development of this wave is not expected over the next couple of days as the storms firing around this feature will encounter some drier air.

In addition, winds aloft (especially to the north of the apparent mid-level center near Puerto Rico) are hostile to rapid strengthening.

By Friday or Saturday, some of this wind shear could lessen a bit as several models forecast an approach the southeast coast of Florida or the Keys.
Some limitation to development may be hampered due to interaction with land as the storm crosses Florida. This appears to be the most likely path with the storm strength staying at a tropical storm level. There is a slight change that the system will shift and take a more southerly path. If this happens and the storm stays over water throught the Caribbean and into the Gulf, then this storm could develop into a low grade hurricane.

Tropical Update: Invest 97L organizing and could be a tropical depression by morning(Expaminer)
Computer model guidance is in good agreement with a west to west northwest track over the next 3 to 5 days. However we still need a center of circulation to really get a good fix on this system and that will allow the computer models to output a more accurate forecast. Right now there are two thoughts on the track of 97L, one has this system tracking over south Florida as a tropical storm and the other is making its way into the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane. If 97L becomes a tropical depression tonight that could cause a small shift to the north in the model runs. If 97L does not get better organized overnight expect the computer models to stay the same or shift a little farther south.

Right now 97L is dumping heavy rain and producing gusty conditions in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. Flash flood warning has been posted and mud slides are expected for the next 24 hours. Even if 97L does not develop south Florida will see heavy rains and gusty wind starting Thursday and lasting into the weekend.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tropical Storm Chanthu heads for China

Tropical depression 4W intensified to a tropical storm yesterday in the South China Sea and is currently heading for China's Hainan and Guandong provinces likely making landfall in souther Guandong province by Thursday morning. The storm is expected to grow to a Category 1 typhoon before striking land.

Tropical storm Chanthu may make landfall in south China Thursday (Xinhua)

BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Severe tropical storm Chanthu is expected to make landfall in south China's Guangdong and Hainan provinces on Thursday, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said Wednesday.

Chanthu, the third tropical storm of the year, which strengthened early Wednesday, is forecast to move northwestward at a speed of 15 km per hour, said a statement on the website of the China Meteorological Administration, the NMC's parent organization.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were 108 km per hour at 5 a.m. and may strengthen further within the next 24 hours.

The tropical storm would bring gales and heavy rains to southern and eastern coastal areas of China, including Guangdong and Hainan, over the next 24 hours.
Vietnam's northern provinces are also keeping an eye out in case Chanthu moves towards teh northwest as Typhoon Conson did just last week. Conson brought heavy rain and flooding to the region.

The projected path of Chanthu has been shifting towards the west as the storm progressed from the Philippines and approaches China. The initial projected track had Chanthu making landfall in Hong Kong. Now the center of the track is close to Hainan Island. Hainan, Guandong and northern Vietnam all need to be an alert as this storm progresses towards land.

Storm Chanthu strengthens in East Sea (VOV News)
Central and northern coastal provinces are bracing themselves for another tropical storm which is moving towards the northeastern region and is likely to regain its strength.
Provinces from Binh Dinh to Quang Ninh, which have just resisted storm Conson, are keeping a close watch on the direction of Chanthu churning through the East Sea.

At 13.00 on July 20, Chanthu was positioned at 17.8 degrees north latitude and 115.3 degrees east longitude, about 330km east of Hoang Sa archipelago, packing winds of between 62-88kph near its centre.

In the next 24 hours, the storm – the second of its kind to hit the East Sea this year - is expected to move north-west at a speed of 15kph and continue to strengthen further.

It is forecast to regain its strength on July 22 with winds gusting between 89 and 119kph and head for the southern coast of China. It is likely to move between north and northeast and weaken into a tropical low pressure system the following day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tropical Depression 4 forms on Philippine coast

Tropical depression 4 has formed over the coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines. This is right at the area where Typhoon Basyang (Conson) passed just a few days ago killing 38 people.

The storm will cross the island throughout today and then enter the South China Sea where it will strengthen to a Tropical Storm as it heads towards China.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tropical Storm Conson slams Vietnam

Typhoon Conson was downgraded to a tropical storm after brushing against Hainan Island yesterday. Today the storm smashed into the northern coastal region of Vietnam with 83 km/hr (53 MPH) winds and heavy rain. The storm has quickly weakened to a tropical depression and is heading on acourse that will take it directly over the capital of Hanoi.

Tropical storm Conson hits northern Vietnam (BBC News)
Conson hit Vietnam's province of Thanh Hoa on Saturday, brining sustained winds of 83km (53 miles) per hour.

Six fishermen were missing near the Paracels archipelago in the South China Sea after their boat sank while seeking shelter, state-run Vietnam Television said.

Reports in Vietnam media also said a female tourist was swept away by waves in Thanh Hoa.

Some 200,000 people in the area had left their homes before the storm arrived, officials said.

The government in Hanoi also warned that there was a risk of flash floods and landslides in mountainous areas of the country.

Conson is expected to further weaken into a low pressure system as it moves further north-west.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Typhoon Conson strikes China; heading towards Vietnam

Typhoon Conson is now at tropical storm strength as it sideswipes Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Conson made landfall along the coast of the island on Friday bringing heavy rain and wind along the coast. The storm is expected to remain in the area for much of the day before moving on.

Typhoon Conson hits China, causing casualties (Xinhua)

HAIKOU, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Typhoon Conson landed at Yalong Bay of Sanya City, in south China's island province of Hainan, late Friday, causing casualties.

Conson made landfall at 7:50 p.m., packing winds of up to 126 km per hour at the center, according to the disaster prevention office of Sanya, a tourist resort.

It brought heavy rains and strong winds to Sanya, uprooting trees, pulling down billboards and light poles and partly cutting power supply.

A security guard was buried in debris after a giant billboard toppled at about 7:26 p.m.. The man was found dead at about 11 p.m. after rescuers pulled away the billboard with the help of machines.

A motorcycle rider was hit by a falling billboard and died at the site at about 8 p.m..

The typhoon is expected to hover in the island for about 9 hours before it enters Beibu Bay on Saturday morning.
Typhoon Conson is expected to remain at tropical storm strength until making final landfall in Vietnam sometime on Saturday. One concern was that Conson heavy rains would cause severe flooding by adding too much water to already swollen rivers in south China. Heavy rain throughout the past few weeks have already caused flooding and Conson could make a bad situation worse.

By Saturday morning local time Conson should be in the Tonkin Gulf heading for Vietnam lessening the potential for flooding in China but increasing the potential in the mousntainous northern Vietnam.

Conson Grazing Chinese Island, Heading to Vietnam (AccuWeather)
As of 4 p.m. EDT Friday, Conson was centered roughly 225 miles southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam. The typhoon's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be near 70 mph, the equivalent of a strong tropical storm. Conson was moving to the northwest at 14 mph.

Conson will continue on that track, further grazing the southern Hainan Island with flooding rain and damaging winds into Friday evening EDT (or early Saturday morning local time).

Winds gusted to 67 mph Friday morning EDT in Sanya Fenghuang, located on the island's southern coast.

Conditions will improve over the Hainan Island Friday night as Conson enters the Gulf of Tonkin and takes aim at northern Vietnam.

Conson should make its final landfall in northern Vietnam Saturday morning in between the cities of Thanh Hoa and Hong Gai.

Powerful winds high in the atmosphere, also known as wind shear, are weakening Conson, which has slipped below typhoon strength.

Conson will press farther inland on Saturday, passing over the capital of Hanoi as a tropical storm. Later Saturday into Saturday night, Conson will become a tropical rainstorm over northwestern Vietnam and northern Laos.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Typhoon Conson intensifies, heads for south China, Vietnam

Typhoon Conson has grown back to a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The cyclone is crossing the South China Sea currently heading towards Hainan Island. Landfall is expected sometime Friday.

Typhoon Conson may reach land in China Friday: Forecast (Xinhua)
BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- China issued an orange alert on Thursday for wave surges, the second highest level warning, forecasting that Typhoon Conson may reach land Friday on the southeast coast of China' s Hainan province.

The National Marine Environment Forecast Center warned of a 6-metre wave surge in the middle and the north of the South China Sea from Thursday night through Friday.

Meanwhile, warnings were also issued for a possible 5-metre wave surge off the east shore of Hainan province and a 3-metre wave surge off the west shore of Guangdong province and the southern coast of Hainan.
A high pressure system is driving Conson more towards the west into northern Vietnam. This means that the strongest northeast quadrant of the storm will strike Hainan province as the system makes landfall.

High pressure forcing Tropical Storm Conson farther south to Hainan Island (Eurekalert)
NASA satellites are keeping an eye on the changing track of Tropical Storm Conson and the conditions within the storm as it changes in strength on its track through the South China Sea. NASA's Infrared imagery revealed some strong convection in the storm as it takes a more westerly route toward another landfall.

Just before making landfall in the northern Philippines, Tropical Storm Conson was forecast to track more to the northwest for a landfall in China in the next couple of days. Now the forecast track has changed to bring Conson further south over the weekend and toward a landfall in northern Vietnam. That's because there is a low-to-mid-level subtropical ridge (an area of high pressure) that is sitting over China, and Conson is following along the southern edge of it. The high pressure ridge acts as a barrier and Tropical cyclone like Conson are forced to go around them. Think of a basketball sitting outside in the rain, and the raindrops drip down the surface to the ground - it's the same principle.
The biggest concern in south China is flooding as the area has been inundated with heavy rain for quite a while. Now as the rain continues, with the approaching typhoon the potential for severe flooding is quite likely.

China Faces Worst Flooding in 12 years (Voice of America)
China is bracing itself for what could be its worst flooding in 12 years, as heavy rain causes rivers to burst their banks. And, worsening weather conditions are expected, in the next 48 hours. Rain storms in recent days have already claimed 43 lives and left 40 other people missing. Damage to property is running into millions of dollars.

Rain continues to batter the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. And, approaching typhoon Conson - which is expected to batter the south of the country once its makes landfall - is expected to push flood defenses to the brink.

Typhoon Basyang kills 37 in Philippines

The first typhoon of the 2010 season to hit the Philippines brought a deadly start to the tropical season. Thirty-seven people were killed by the typhoon as it crossed Luzan Island earlier this week. Typhoon Conson, known as Basyang in the Philippines, struck land with 75 mph winds which took out the power grid plunging thousands in darkness.

Typhoon Conson Kills 37 in Philippines (Earthweek)
The Philippines’s first typhoon of the rainy season killed at least 37 people as it brought flash flooding and destructive winds to six provinces, mainly near Manila.
Typhoon Conson was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph when it made landfall Tuesday night in the country’s Bicol region.

It then cut a path across the heart of the country before raking Manila and eventually weakening to tropical storm force and departing off the west coast of Luzon Island.

High winds and rising flood waters knocked out power to many parts of the capital, where downed power lines and trees littered roadways.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Typhoon Conson weakens as it crosses Luzon

Typhoon Conson slammed into the Philippine island of Luzon yesterday as a Category 1 typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and is crossing the southern portion of the island at this time. As it interacts with land, the storm has weakened to tropical storm strength.

Conson now has sustained winds of 55 MPH (88 km/hr) with gusts up to 75 MPH (120 km/hr). Conson is forecast to remain a tropical storm as it moves across the South China Sea towards South China, however, this is a region that has very warm sea surface temperatures and relatively low wind shear at the moment so further strengthening will not be too surprising.

Conson Weakens to Tropical Storm as it Crosses Philippines (BusinessWeek)

July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Typhoon Conson weakened to a tropical storm as it went ashore on the Philippine island of Luzon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration.

The storm, also called Basyang by the Philippine agency, was located about 129 kilometers (80 miles) east of Manila, the nation’s capital, with top winds of about 111 kilometers per hour, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported.

It lost power after touching land late yesterday and encountering heavy vertical wind shear, the typhoon center said. Conson made landfall near the town of Infanta and was expected to cross the island, according to an update from the Philippine agency at 11 p.m. Manila time yesterday.

The projected path for Conson is for the storm to turn towards the northwest and head for a region between Hainan Island and Macau. The potential exists for the storm to also turn further to the north towards Taiwan depending on whether a high pressure system weakens or blocks the storm.

Conson now a tropical storm; Wednesday key for Taiwan (China Post)

Conson continued on its path toward the Luzon Island in the Philippines, where the storm will make landfall today or tomorrow, the CWB forecasted.

The tropical storm was 1,300 km southeast of Taiwan's southern tip of Hengchun as of yesterday afternoon and was moving 21 km/hr west-northwest said Lin Hsiu-wen, deputy director of the CWB's weather forecast center.

The storm will have no impact on Taiwan's weather today or tomorrow, Lin said, pointing out that the strength of the Pacific high pressure system will be the key factor whether Conson will affect Taiwan. The faster the Pacific high pressure system weakens, the closer Conson will be to Taiwan.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Conson (Basyang) becomes a Typhoon

Tropical Depression 3W has grown to Category 1 Typhoon Conson over the past 24 hours. Conson, known locally in the Philippines as Basyang, is packing sustained winds of 120 km/hr and gusts of 144 km/hr. The typhoon is moving towards the west at 28 km/hr.

Enhanced satellite courtesy of PAGASA

Conson is expected to further strengthen somewhat but remain a Cat 1 typhoon as it makes landfall in Luzon over the next 12 hours.

PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geological & AstronomicalServices Administration) has issued a Storm Warning Signal #2 for Catandueanes, Camarines Norte, Polillo, Aurora, Quirino and Isabella on Luzon Island. A PSWS No. 2 indicates that winds of 60 - 100 km/hr are expected within 24 hours.

A PSWS Signal No. 1 (30 - 60 km/hr winds) are expected through the rest of Luzon.

The biggest concern is the potential for flash floods due to the mountainous terrain of the island, especially near Mayon and Bulusan Volcanoes.

From Typhoon 2000:

Effects & Hazards: CONSON's (BASYANG) outer rain bands now covering Samar and Bicol Provinces, while its Inner rain bands now spreading across Catanduanes, where strong winds of up to 100 kph can be expected. 6-hr total rainfall amounts of 5 up to 150 mm (light, moderate to heavy rain) can be expected along the outer and inner rainbands...with isolated amounts of up to 200 mm (heavy) near the center of CONSON.

People living around the slopes of Mayon Volcano in Albay & of Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon - especially along the areas where possible MUDFLOWS (LAHAR) FLOWS (mixture of volcanic mud and water) are located must stay alert as moderate to heavy rains associated by this system are likely to affect the area beginning late today until early tomorrow.

Residents in low-lying areas & steep slopes must remain alert & seek evacuation for possible life-threatening flash floods, mudslides & landslides due to the anticipated heavy rains brought about by this system. Precautionary measures must be initiated if necessary.

Possible coastal Storm Surge flooding of 4 to 5 feet above normal tide levels...accompanied by large and dangerous battering possible along the coastal areas of Bicol Region, Polillo, Quezon & Aurora. Minimal damage is likely on this type of storm surge.

'Basyang' barrels towards Luzon landfall Wednesday (GMA News)
At least 24 areas were placed under storm signals as tropical cyclone "Basyang" (international code name Conson) intensified anew Tuesday and threatened to make landfall over northern Aurora on Wednesday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Basyang may stay in Philippine territory until at least Friday.

"Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Polillo Island, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes will experience stormy weather. The rest of Northern and Central Luzon will have rains and gusty winds. The rest of the country will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms," it said in its 5 a.m. bulletin.

PAGASA director Prisco Nilo said the storm may make landfall over the Isabela-Aurora area "between midnight and 2 a.m. Wednesday."

Nilo also hinted that should Basyang intensify, storm warnings may be upgraded in some areas to Signal No. 3, while Metro Manila may be placed under Signal No. 1, before noon Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Risk Alert

NW Pacific: Storm Alert issued at 12 Jul, 2010 18:00 GMT

Typhoon CONSON (03W) is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):

Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
the Philippines
probability for CAT 1 or above is 50% within 12 hours
probability for TS is 80% within 12 hours

Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
Daet (14.2 N, 122.9 E)
probability for CAT 1 or above is 35% in about 24 hours
probability for TS is 60% in about 24 hours

Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
San Jose (15.8 N, 121.5 E)
probability for CAT 1 or above is 20% in about 24 hours
probability for TS is 45% in about 24 hours
Manila (14.6 N, 121.0 E)
probability for CAT 1 or above is 20% in about 24 hours
probability for TS is 45% in about 24 hours

Green Alert City(s) and Town(s)
Sorsogon (13.0 N, 124.1 E)
probability for TS is 40% within 12 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 Typhoon 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.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Total eclipse in the South Pacific

A small swath of the South Pacific experienced the rare occurrance of a total eclipse today. Easter Island had the good fortune of experiencing the total eclipse around 1:30 pm local time. The speed of the moon across the sky results in the eclipse lasting only approximatly 5 minutes over any given spot.

The 1999 solar eclipse over Europe. This photo captures the naked eye and binocular appearance of totality very well. The sight of the sun's corona and pink prominences is unforgettable. Credit: Luc Viatour (Hat tip Astro Bob blog)

Full solar eclipse seen in the Pacific (Radio New Zealand International)

Parts of the Pacific have this morning experienced a full eclipse of the sun.

The five-minute event was seen in some parts of the South Pacific, with several cruise liners chartering special trips to remote parts of French Polynesia, the Cook Islands and Easter Island to try to secure the best views.
Solar eclipses provide research opportunities for astronomers by allowing a clear view of the Sun's corona. The corona usually cannot be seen due to the brightness of the Sun itself. During an eclipse, the moon perfectly blocks the disk of the sun due to the fact that the size difference of the two bodies and their distance apart exactly balane each other. The Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon and 400 times further from the Earth. The result is that when the Moon and Sun
happen to line up perfectly the Sun is completely blocked out for a short period of time.

Once the Sun is obscured from view, the brilliant corona can be seen allowing scientists to see solar storms and flares.

This year, Easter Island, known by the locals as Rapa Nui, is positioned right under the path of the eclipse providign the ideal location for viewing the event by scientists, tourists and journalists.

Easter Island readies for eclipse (Al Jazeera)
Tourists and scientists have poured onto the remote and mysterious Easter Island to watch a rare total eclipse of the sun - a mixed blessing for the Pacific community.

An estimated 4,000 tourists, scientists, photographers, filmmakers and journalists flocked to the remote Chilean outpost of only 160 sq km on Sunday, doubling the population of the barren island that already suffers from water pollution and deforestation.

The spectacle began its 11,000km arc over the Pacific at sunrise, some 1,900 km northeast of New Zealand, plunging remote islands into darkness.

The moon's shadow was sweeping across the South Pacific, darkening skies over the Cook Islands and parts of southern Chile and Argentina, cloaking Easter Island and its mysterious giant statues at around 2:11 pm (20:11 GMT).

Conditions were anything but normal on Easter Island, deemed by astronomers the best place to witness Sunday's alignment of sun, moon and Earth for a fleeting four minutes and 41 seconds.


Scientists will be looking for solar storms forming in the corona, storms with solar winds that can affect space weather and eventually, smash into the Earth's magnetic field. The solar corona goes out more than a million kilometres from the Sun's surface.

"The corona actually extends way out into space and we can see what we call 'coronal mass ejections' which are these huge massive amounts of material being blown away from the sun at millions of miles an hour," Holly Gilbert, a NASA astrophysicist, told the Associated Press news agency.

A new round of solar storms are slowly building up to a projected maximum period in about four years and could affect electrical systems, satellite communications and some computer networks.

The sun is 400 times wider than the moon, but it is also 400 times farther away. Because of the symmetry, the lunar umbra, or shadow, that falls on the face of the Earth is exactly wide enough to cover the face of the sun.

Due to the tilt of the Moon's orbit, most new Moons do not pass directly infront of the Sun. About two to five times each year the Sun and the Moon line up providing us with that rare spectacular somewhere on the planet.

Tropical Depression forms in Western Pacific

A low pressure disturance has organized into Tropical Depression 3 and is likely to intensify into a tropical storm within the next 12 to 24 hours.

The system is forecast to cross northern Luzon Island as a tropical Storm and then weaken as it enters the South China Sea due to an increase in windshear. The projected track of this storm is along the tracks that were inundated last year by 3 separate typhoons including one that crossed the area 3 times.

Forecast Update (Typhoon2000)
Forecast Outlook: 03W (BASYANG) is expected to maintain its WNW track throughout its forecast and intensify as it moves towards Northern Luzon [2AM JUL 13: 15.2N 127.5E].

It will reach its peak strength of 95 kph by tomorrow & make landfall somewhere in Southern Isabela [2 AM JUL 14: 16.7N 123.0E] by Wednesday morning Jul 14.

03W is expected to lose strength upon traversing the mountainous terrain of Northern Luzon Wednesday morning until the evening.

The 3 to 5-Day Long-Range Forecast shows the system exiting Ilocos Provinces by early Thursday [2AM JUL 15: 18.1N 120.4E] and will be in the middle of the South China Sea on Friday as it approaches Southern China on Saturday [2AM JUL 16: 20.0N 118.3E...2AM JUL 17: 21.7N 117.2E].

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tropical Depression 2 makes landfall

Overnight Tropical Depression 2 formed in the Gulf of Mexico and has already made landfall near the Texas Mexico border. Maximum sustained windspeed was just below the 39 MPH required for this system to reach true tropical storm status. A hurricane hunter plane did find a low level circulation and some tropical storm force gusts but these were not sufficiently sustained to classify the system as a tropical storm.

Now the issue is flooding as this storm degrades and dumps many inches of water over the already saturated land of South Texas and northern Mexico. Radar imaging (courtesy of Weather Underground) shows heavy rain falling in patches across most of Texas and a few of the northern Mexican states.

Tropical Depression Makes Landfall, Will Dissipate
The system, which is bringing rain to Texas and Mexico, is centered about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of McAllen, Texas, and has maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour, the hurricane center said in its last statement about the storm at 4 p.m. Houston time.

All tropical storm warnings have been discontinued, the center said, and the system will probably dissipate in 12 to 24 hours after dropping 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain over southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. Some areas may receive 10 inches.

Flood warnings and watches have been issued for most of Texas, according to the National Weather Service. The Rio Grande at Rio Grande City, about 90 miles west-northwest of Brownsville, Texas, was expected to rise above flood stage of 50 feet over the weekend.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Invest 96 developing in the Gulf

The tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico has begun to organize now that it has crossed over the Yucatan Peninsula. The system had remained very unorganized while it was in the Caribbean and as it crossed land. Now that it is int eh warm waters of the Gulf, organization is increasing and formation of a tropical depression or even a tropical storm is likely. The National Hurricane Center has given this system an 80% chance of formation.

UPDATE 1-Tropical depression could form near Yucatan (Reuters)

MEXICO CITY, July 7 (Reuters) - A tropical depression could form over the southern Gulf of Mexico before slamming into the Gulf Coast near the Texas-Mexico border on Thursday, a region still recovering from Hurricane Alex, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in a report on Wednesday.

Another serious storm in the Gulf of Mexico could further disrupt efforts to contain BP's (BP.L) massive oil spill off the Louisiana coast.

The NHC gave the low pressure system an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone that could dump heavy rains and bring strong winds to parts of eastern and southern Texas and northeastern Mexico over the next few days.

"This system has become much better organized this afternoon and evening," the hurricane center said, adding that reconnaissance airplanes researching the weather have information suggesting it could turn into a tropical depression.

All of the tracking models indicate that this system is headed for South Texas ranging from Corpus Christi to Brownsville. The far northeastern corner of Mexico will also be hit with heavy rain and wind. This area was inundated with heavy rain from Hurricane Alex just a week ago with McAllen receiving over 7 and 1/2 inches of rain.

Watching for Bonnie in South Texas, Mexico (AccuWeather)

A week after Hurricane Alex slammed onshore, a new tropical system that is being monitored for development will target South Texas and northeastern Mexico on Thursday.


The water in the western Gulf of Mexico is warm enough to support strengthening. Strong winds high in the atmosphere, also known as wind shear, will be absent.

Current forecast models indicate that if a tropical storm does develop, the system will probably press inland too quickly to intensify into a hurricane. South Texas or far northeastern Mexico is where the system should move onshore on Thursday, although perhaps farther north than Alex's landfall.

Even if development does not take place, the system threatens to unleash drenching thunderstorms around and north of its center. Additional rainfall on already soaked South Texas and northeastern Mexico could lead to new flooding problems.

For now it appears the heaviest rain would fall along the middle Texas coast, due to the lopsided nature of the system at this time.
This biggest concern is flooding due to the heavy rain and flooding caused by Alex. Resevoirs in South Texas are full from the rain from last week's hurricane and the water is already being drained through the Rio Grande resulting in some flooding. Further heavy rain will add to the overflow.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Caribbean activity grows suddenly

UPDATE: Invest 96 appears to be located just off the Yucatan Peninsula in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The system does not have a closed circulation at the moment and interaction with land will prevent any organization within the next 24 hours or so.

As the models below show, this system is most likely heading for the central Texas Coast anywhere between Corpus Christi and Galveston. All of the models are converged fairly nicely towards this area. As the system approaches the coast, the breadth of the tracks will narrow down quite a bit.

When the system enters the Gulf, the warm waters will likely promote organization. The Weatehr Channel is saying that formation is favorable. Weatehr Underground intensity models are indicating that this sysytem could become a tropical storm but at this time it most likely will not get any stronger than that. Of course the storm is still over 72 hours out.
Tropical activity suddenly developed in the Caribbean Sea in the same area where Hurricane Alex developed a couple of weeks ago. Invest 96 came together Sunday afternoon and quickly developed. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting a 50% chance of this system organizing into a depression or named storm within the next 48 hours.

Computer models are indicating an almost identical pathway as that taken by Alex with the system crossing the Yucatan peninsula and then tracking towards the west northwest across the Gulf of Mexico towards the Texas Mexico border.

The expected track appears to be well converged over the next few days with the system passing well north of Belize where Alex passed as a tropical storm. Once the storm re-emerges in the Gulf then the spread of potential tracks diverges significantly with a spread from central Mexico to south Texas (sound familiar??)

Tropical Deja Vu in the Caribbean, Southwest Gulf? (AccuWeather)

Could this be tropical deja vu? There is a possibility of another tropical event in areas recently hit by Alex in the Caribbean and southwest Gulf of Mexico.

Over the holiday weekend, a large area of showers and thunderstorms was becoming better organized and seems to be the new prime contender for the next Atlantic tropical depression.

The next named storm on the list in the Atlantic 2010 season is Bonnie.

As of Sunday evening, showers and thunderstorms were grouping in a somewhat circular motion over the west-central Caribbean.

The area is around the same spot where Alex first formed about a week ago.

Interestingly, steering currents could guide this system along on a similar path to that of Alex, if it develops.

Steering Currents:

A graphic of the upper level air currents shows that circulation around a high pressure system in the western Atlantic and another over the southeastern US is essentially creating a conveyor of sorts that will bring Invest 96 to the north northwest and then make a left turn towards the western gulf near Brownsville, TX.

Graphics courtesy of

Disturbance in the Gulf

The NHC is also keeping an eye on an area just south of Louisiana in the area where the oil slick is located. The air in this region is very unstable due to the passage of Hurricane Alex through the Gulf last week. The clockwise high pressure circulation over the southeastern US is inducing a counter clockwise circulation within this unstable air.

It is possible that this system may develop into another tropical depression, but not likely due to strong wind shear in the region. Dry air is also entering the area from the north which further reduces the potential for formation. However, at this time, the NHC is still projecting a 10 - 20% chance of this system organizing.

Graphic courtesy of AccuWeather

Louisiana low moves inland

Just as the Low Pressure system near the Louisiana Gulf Coast started to kick up its heels, it moved inland and broke apart. Earlier this afternoon this system was strengthening significantly with near tropical storm force winds and really looked like it would become a cyclone before hitting the shore. Interesting how quickly these systems can change, especially when they form so close to land.

Storm off Louisiana packing tropical force winds (Reuters)

MIAMI, July 5 (Reuters) - A storm packing heavy winds in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to strengthen into a tropical cyclone before it tears into coastal Louisiana on Monday evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

It said the storm, centered about 50 miles (80 km) south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana, was already packing sustained winds near tropical storm force.

There was a "high chance" it will become the second named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season before it makes landfall in the Terrebonne Parish area near Caillou Bay early Monday evening, the Miami-based hurricane center said.
Instead of fully developing, the storm moved inland. The National Hurricane Center does not expect any further development at this time, however, if the system remains poised at the coast, it would not be too surprising to see this system grow or at least dump significant rain in the area.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hurricane Alex slams northern Mexico

Hurricane Alex came ashore in northern Mexico as a Category 2 hurrricane with winds in excess of 100 MPH around the eye. Alex's strength actually peaked as the eye of the storm crossed the coast. Alex nrough torrential rain and winds from Mexico into southern Texas throughout the day and night Wednesday.

Hurricane Alex pounds northern Mexico; at least 2 killed (Los Angeles Times)
Remnants of Hurricane Alex on Thursday raked northern Mexico with damaging winds and heavy rains, knocking out power to thousands of homes and causing floods that killed at least two people.

Alex, which roared in from the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane, weakened to a tropical storm as it crossed the states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon into Mexico's northern interior.

But high winds and torrential rain left much of the region without electricity or working telephones, forced schools to close and sent rivers over their banks in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon and Mexico's most important industrial city.

Monterrey authorities said two men died after being dragged by floodwaters, though some news reports put the toll at five.

Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina said more than 4,000 people were evacuated around Monterrey, where drenching rains filled the Santa Catarina River and other channels that normally carry little water. The governor said the capital had received about 10 inches of rain by midday, with some areas getting even more.
Rainbands washed ashore along the entire Texas coast from Tuesday on dumping heavy rain along the entire region. Flooding continues to be a major concern even though the worst threat has past.

Valley monitors continuing threats from Alex (The Monitor)
The Rio Grande Valley dodged the worst of Hurricane Alex, but the storm’s real threat may still be on its way, emergency management officials said Thursday.

Comparing local drainage systems to an already full bathtub, officials worried that runoff from the storm’s path up the Rio Grande could overwhelm floodways, drainage canals and reservoirs before they could drain the rainwater from Wednesday’s storms.

As of Thursday morning, Hidalgo County’s drainage systems were at about 90 percent capacity.

“The key now is to see where this water goes,” said Hidalgo County Rene Ramirez. “We’ll find out more in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Alex made landfall about 9 p.m. along the central Tamaulipas coast -- about 110 miles south of Brownsville. The Category 2 storm dumped torrential rains upon the region’s small fishing villages and flooded cities like Matamoros.

As of 10 a.m., it had weakened to a tropical storm centered about 150 miles east of Zacatecas, Zac., Mexico and was expected to dissipate over the country’s highlands this evening, according to the National Weather Service.

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