It’s official: Alex first June hurricane since 1995

June 29, 2010

Based on the near hurricane force winds observed in the southeast quadrant during the recon mission, the National Hurricane Center with its 10 PM advisory has upgraded Alex to hurricane status.   Unfortunately, the Hurricane Hunter experienced radar failure before it had an opportunity to sample the northeast quadrant. Because of that, the initial intensity was set at 65 knots/75 mph, which is minimum hurricane strength.

The track forecast has been shifted to the south by about the amount I expected. The area inside the cone is lightly populated fishing villages; Hurricane Emily of 2005 made second landfall in this area as did Hurricane Caroline in 1975.

As far as intensity, goes the discussion notes that the Rapid Intensity Index, which is part of SHIPS guidance, indicates a 33% chance of 30 knot Rapid Intensification in the next 24 hours.  This is an elevated amount, enough to suggest that RI is possible, but not enough to say with any certainty that it will. The intensity forecast is carried over from the previous one, with a max of 80 knots/90 mph.

While it doesn’t necessarily change anything in the big picture, the uncertainty in the initial intensity due to the untimely departure of recon does pose a bit of an issue. Because the RI Index is partially  momentum based, had recon found say, 70 knot winds, the RI index would have been  higher.

I’ve no idea whether a Hurricane Hunter mission can be launched ahead of schedule. If not, the next one is scheduled to be in Alex in front of the 4 AM advisory this morning. Via teh Twitters:

” 403PA

#Hurricanehunters radar did break on last mission thru #Alex, but sending next plane into storm ASAP as it gains #hurricane strength “

As my headline states and the advisory notes, this is the first hurricane observed in June since Allison of 1995. Remarkably, during this stretch of hurricane free Junes, we have had two December hurricanes (Nicole of 1998 and Epsilon of 2005).

As I don’t anticipate having anything noteworthy to report, I probably won’t have anything posted, either here or on friendfeed until early tomorrow morning.

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