Hurricane Alex to become category two storm prior to landfallJune 30th, 2010 - 10:20 pm ICT by BNO News
MIAMI (BNO NEWS) — Category one hurricane Alex, the first hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic season, is forecast to become a category two storm before it makes landfall in Mexico, close to Texas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday morning (local time), the hurricane was centered about 235 kilometers (145 miles) east of La Pesca, a small town on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
“Alex is moving toward the northwest near 7 mph, 11 km/hr, but a turn more to the west should begin later today,” said forecaster Avila. “On the forecast track, the center of Alex will make landfall in the hurricane warning area late tonight or early Thursday morning.”
A hurricane warning remains in effect for the coast of Texas south of Baffin Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande. Additionally, a hurricane warning is in effect for the coast of Mexico from the mouth of the Rio Grande to La Cruz.
A tropical storm warning is also in effect for the coast of Texas from Baffin Bay to Port O’Connor and the coast of Mexico south of La Cruz to Cabo Rojo.
The National Hurricane Center said Alex’s maximum sustained winds remain near 130 kilometers per hour (80 miles per hour) with higher gusts, making it a category one hurricane. “[Alex] has the potential to become a category two hurricane prior to landfall, Avila added. “A gradual weakening should begin after the center cross the coastline.”
Hurricane force winds currently extend up to 95 kilometers (60 miles) from the center and tropical storm force winds currently extend up to 325 kilometers (200 miles) primarily to the northeast of the center.
The hurricane is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of six to twelve inches over portions of northeastern Mexico and southern Texas with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches. “These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in mountainous terrain” Avila said.
The center further warned that a dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as three to five feet above ground level along the immediate coast to the north of where the center makes landfall. “The surge could penetrate inland as far as several miles from the shore with depth generally decreasing as the water moves inland,” Avila said. “Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”
Avila said isolated tornadoes are possible over portions of extreme southern Texas throughout Wednesday.
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Tags: baffin bay, center cross, flash floods, forecast track, forecaster avila, hurricane alex, hurricane force, hurricane warning, kilometers per hour, maximum amounts, maximum sustained winds, mexican state of tamaulipas, mexico south, mountainous terrain, mud slides, national hurricane center, northeastern mexico, port o connor, rio grande, tropical storm force