This blog post will be updated many times over the following days as this potential disaster pushes towards the Gulf of Mexico.
June 27, 2010
Forecasters say Alex has weakened to a tropical depression, but the cyclone is expected to regain strength in the coming days as it moves out over warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that Alex could eventually become a hurricane. Its current track has it making landfall again later in the week over Mexico, well away from the area in the Gulf of Mexico where BP PLC is trying to stop a massive oil leak.
On Saturday, Alex swept through the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize with torrential downpours.
June 26, 2010
Tropical Storm Alex was strengthening fast in the western Caribbean on Saturday, and forecasters said it too soon to say if it would hit the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Saturday that the storm has maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph (100 kph). Hurricane speed is at least 75 mph (120 kph).
The weather was deteriorating in Belize, Mexico, and along the Yucatan Peninsula, the hurricane center said. Most storm models show Alex traveling over the peninsula over the weekend, hurricane forecaster Jack Bevens said.
Bevens noted it’s too soon to say with certainty if the storm will pass over the oiled Gulf, though for now it’s not expected to hit the spill. A storm’s predicted track can quickly change as conditions shift.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Belize and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.
Somewhere between 69 million and 132 million gallons of crude have spewed into the water since the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 workers.
June 25, 2010
The first tropical depression of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season appears imminent in the Western Caribbean, as the areal coverage and intensity of heavy thunderstorm activity associated with the tropical wave (Invest 93L) continue to increase. The storm has developed a surface circulation near 16.5N, 82.5W at 8am EDT, about 100 miles northeast of the Nicaragua/Honduras border. This is far enough from land that development will be slowed only slightly. Satellite loops show a poorly organized system, with only a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. However, the developing storm is affecting the weather across the entire Western Caribbean, and bands of heavy thunderstorms are quickly building over a large region. Pressures at ground stations and buoys all across the Western Caribbean have been falling significantly over the past day (Figure 2.) Water vapor satellite loops show that moist air surrounds 93L, and there is not much dry air to slow down development.