During the predawn hours Saturday June 26 Tropical Storm Alex became the first official storm of the 2010 hurricane season. Now the question is this the beginning of the very busy hurricane season NOAA was forecasting or a dry run. Tropical Storm Alex is slowly strengthening as it approaches the Belize-Mexico coastline with sustained winds at 40mph. The forward motion is WNW-8mph. This information was just collected from the latest hurricane hunter plane which just left the western Caribbean this morning.
The data collected from the plane was plugged into the latest model runs and new projections have been determined. More of the models are trending towards a West bound storm in the Gulf - - - see the results for yourself below. If this is true than oil recovery efforts should be allowed to continue. However if the winds increase to gale force when the storm strengthens then the recovery commander has no choice but to suspend cleanup and recovery efforts.
The National hurricane center adjusted its forecast track accordingly as you see in their graphic.
A high pressure ridge just to the North will apparently hold the key to whether Alex steers more North than West over the next 5 days. If it holds the storm will be more West bound and strengthen to near hurricane force. If it weakens it may run into more shear and impact the Northwest gulf region. We will monitor Alex's progress across the Yucatan peninsula and have the latest info here and on our hurricane central section here on this web site. Stay tuned to 11 News all weekend for the latest on the first storm of the season.