8/03/04 FCST|Gulf|Hurricane Alex

Surface low is beginning to work its way into the core of the heaviest storms. This is a good thing. Looks like the ETA is pretty flaky with this stprm. I like the GFS solutions much better. I guess none of the models do a great job with tropical systems. Who knows, maybe this thing will bomb out overnight.
Looks like it'll be a good storm for east coast surfers. Once the storm encounters the cold front that's currently pushing offshore, it will take the turn towards the northeast and ride the Gulf Stream offshore. After a few days, it will become extratropical. Hatteras should still see tropical storm force winds, but I think it's alll offshore after that.

Surfers up in New Jersey and on Long Island will have a ball, the storm will be far enough offshore for the nice long rolling swells. When a storm passes too close to shore, the surf gets too sloppy.
Surfers up in New Jersey and on Long Island will have a ball,

Good news for me. I am in Avalon, NJ on vacation. The beach here faces southeast and should pickup some of the longer period swells from this storm. Hopefully it will stay well offshore. This will keep the wind waves at bay and leave a glassy northwest flow to let the swells in.

I see the NHC has upped the probable wind speeds. The next 24 hours will be important.
I'm gonna come out and say it. I think there is a small window for this thing to turn into a hurricane.
Small chance

I agreed. As long as Alex (fomerly Fluffy) is riding on the Gulf Stream along the East Coast, it has the potential to reach hurricane status. But time and its position will be the key players in this scenario. If it stays offshore and stationary and rides the Gulf Stream, it can become a minimum hurricane..But if it gets pushed out to see by the cold front and it moves NE into cooler waters, it may never get to be a hurricane.
Upper level outflow is becoming very well defined - a nice arc of cirrus is fanning out to the northeast of the center. This thing has a very good chance of topping the hurricane mark.

My brother is on a coincidental mini-vacation in Holden Beach and has his camera! Although, looks like Alex might not brush land except for a few outer rain bands.
Maximum sustained winds right now are 60mph. The last I heard is they expect it to become a hurricane by tomorrow but that it will veer just on the outskirts of NC and head north but stay out to sea.

I did a run-down of the past 150 years of hurricanes that hit NC.

A very high percentage of the First TS of the season either hit NC, veered just off the coast, or made landfall then running over NC.

I also found that NC is overdue for a year of no storms what-so-ever.

I guess this year won't be that year.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina really stick out in the Atlantic and happen to fall in the path of a lot of hurricanes. The big problem is this hurricane doesn't know anything about climatology or North Carolina. It's going where the winds steer it.
I think that's why I enjoy living in this area;)

One of my co-workers says he used to study the weather.
I'm not sure how right he is on this because I am weather-illiterate at this point, but he said that there are two opposite wind shears blocking Alex from maintaining its regular speed. That we probably would have seen it hitting the outer banks by now(maybe) if not for the opposing winds.

I'm still learning so I don't know how accurate he is, but it sounds right, and then there's the area of high pressure that looks to head this way, which is supposed to be what pushes it off the coast?????

Is this accurate, for anybody out there that knows what they're talking about?????
It feels so good outside, everybody!!!!!

The last couple of days we have seen some pretty hefty humidity. I am trying to track what the humidity was but haven't found it yet. This morning was very humid, with very few clouds. As the day progressed we saw minute scattered showers with alot of spots of sunshine. Now we have a constant light rain with no spots of sunshine and the breeze feels so GOOD outside. It has cooled down alot -
It is currently 75 degrees
Within the past half-hour, the wind picked up from 7 - 10 knots and the pressure dropped from 29.92 to 29.89.

This is the kind of weather I love - open the windows, let the breeze flow through, lay down with a margarita and a good book and relax - too bad they won't let us off from work;) I hope Alex hits right over us.
For those in the path (or elsewhere) so interested:

Dr. Lyons on TWC now has a fun little cartoon to show what might be the expected conditions from Alex.

It kind of has a Mr. Rogers Neighborhood look to it... with houses and cars and trees blowing about. It depicts some street flooding.

It's kind of hilarious, if you want my opinion.

I wonder what the cartoon would look like during an cat 5? Would the animation show houses being blown away?

Anyway, I've been really impressed with how Alex has gotten it's act together in the last 18 hours. The Vis satellite shows some very nice storms right around the center of circ.

Eye of Alex

I checked the NWS radar out of Wilmington, NC and you can clearly see the eye of the tropical storm clearing up on the bottom of the screen.

Also the TPC issued the following statement:



TPC also said Alex is back on its NE track as predicted.
Looks to be a CAT 1 when it swipes by the Outer Banks. Damage will be minimal out there. The islands will be on the weaker side of the storm and a CAT 1 is not much stronger than a typical Nor'easter. Look for beach erosion, rip tides, and heavy rain. Heavy rain is no big deal out there because the water gets sucked up by the sand. There aren't even that many trees on the barrier islands so don't expect any of those to come down.

Keep this in mind for later in the season....the northern Atlantic (NC to Nova Scotia) is extremely warm this year. Water temps on the Jersey shore are pushing 80 and it hasn't even been that hot. Just put that in the back of your head. 80 is often the magical water temperature they talk about on tv for sustained tropical development.
Alex is definitely taking a westward jaunt a bit. I think Pamlico sound looks on track for a direct hit, with the right front quad on Hatteras.
I'm seeing a lot of wobble in the incepient eye. The rain bands are still rotating around a nearly stationary center. It does seem to appear that the eye is begining to take shape as the rain begins to wrap around. Right now, at 9:45PM EDT, it looks like one heck of a hook echo! :D

In the short term, the stalled front on the eastern seaboard has failed to recurve the storm's path. The front's continual weakening and dissipation will not push the storm to the NE as fast as I originally expected, but will keep the storm offshore with the exception of OBX.

It looks like once Alex starts to move, the path will pretty much follow the Gulf Stream, allowing for further development. Anyone on the East Coast considering an offshore fishing trip should strongly reconsider.

Wax that board up there in NJ! Enjoy, and take some pix!
"Alex is definitely taking a westward jaunt a bit."

I put my cursor in the center of the eye at the start of the timelapse and I don't see anything resembling west...

- Rob
Hurricane Alex

Good Morning!

It's all bright and wet down here in NC!!

I went down to the beach last night around 11 just to get a peak of the waves and what not.

This is my description of the coastline for those who wish to witness it first hand. I was a little hesitant at first, but I got over it after a while.

I went down to a hotel that has public access from the parking lot, even though you're not supposed to be on the beach after dark. Throughout the afternoon, I got some pic's on the beachfront, I'll have those developed once I take a few other shots to complete the roll.
It was pitchblack out on the beach last night at 11, except for the neighboring hotel that illuminated the cresting waves. They were an awesome sight, and of course made me wonder how much larger they would have been in the event that Alex made landfall or was of greater strength. There were red reflective markers up to remind people not to wonder into the ocean past those points which was little more than ankle deep. Occassional lightning in the distance over the ocean was the only thing reminding me of where the horizon was located, as dark as it was. The regular sounds of the ocean were intensified to the point that you couldn't tell which was the greater roar, the ocean or the wind howling. This made me uneasy as I would be unable to see an approaching water spout, much less hear it. At this point there was no rain where I was located (In between Indian Beach and Morehead City) The drive earlier in the afternoon was hampered by intense rainfall and alot of standing water on the road. When I went home at 11,11:30, there was barely a drop, but an approaching storm in the distance. The storm made it to my house by about 12-12:30. It had pretty intense lightning and thunder, and I fell asleep and awoke this morning (late for work) as sometime in the night we lost power. This morning's drive into work was very wet and the wind has intensified, but I did not see any small limbs on the road or anywhere else and I found no debris(other people's trash) in my yard, so the wind was probably no problem during the night.

I slept very well, though!!!!
Amazing...Alex has now reached Cat 2. Forecasters are also calling for isolated tornadoes possible along the North Carolina Coast.
That's probably along the upper portions of the outer banks and somewhat inland.
I spoke to my ex-fiancee last night. They are on a fishing tournament in Maryland and were planning on going out today, and most likely stay in tomorrow due to the hurricane. He asked me if I wanted to go up there, I probably should have gone, I probably could have gotten some amazing pic's, but I still think they are being dangerous going out there today.
They were supposed to be going 70 miles out and they are going to have to come back at some point and I would dread to think that Alex will be up there at that time.
I can't believe it's Cat 2. The wind speed here has picked up and the rain has stopped, so it's nice and breezy outside without the sunshine.
There was a flood warning for three counties two counties north of where I am. I don't think we've really got anything more to worry about here on Camp Lejeune. There was a 2 hour delay for schools in the area but that was it, no businesses were closed, and I still haven't seen any debris. One of my 3-foot trees blew over because we just transplanted it and the spot where we put it has a tendency for water build-up - no big deal. I picked it up and leaned it in the other direction - hehe.

I kind of wish it would have come straigh inland. But since I have to be here at work today, I can't be out at the ocean so I will try to go out this afternoon and finish off the roll I started on yesterday.