Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Could Alex Be Near?

For the past week or so, we have been monitoring a tropical wave that has moved westward through the Lesser Antilles. That wave has now combined with another area of disturbed weather and has the potential to develop into our first named storm in the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season.

I've highlighted the area we are watching, which is situated in the Caribbean Sea, just south of Puerto Rico. The bright colors you see on the satellite image represent the colder cloud tops. Colder cloud tops represent where the heavy rain and thunderstorms are ongoing. As the cloud tops brighten, like in the image above, that usually indicates the system getting better organized.

Right now, upper level winds are too strong to keep this wave from developing an area of low pressure at the surface.

However, the wind shear is expected to decrease as this system moves futher to the west. If that happens, then this system will more than likely develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm. If that's the case, it will be given the name Alex.

Notice that the different computer models take this sytem into the Gulf of Mexico late in the week and into the weekend.
It should be noted that this is "not" a forecast track. Since there is no surface low, this is just a consensus of where it takes this wave or area of disturbed weather over the next 5 days.
If it does make it into the Gulf of Mexico, we will have to watch it closely to see where it heads.
Even if this system does not develop, it could throw some moisture our way and give us some much needed rain next week.
Of course, you can keep up-to-date with any tropical system in the Atlantic or Pacific Basin by going to our Hurricane Center.