A somewhat disorganized Tropical Storm Alex may become the 1st hurricane of the Atlantic season in the next 48 hours.
Alex is located in the Bay of Campeche about 85 miles west of Campeche, Mexico. The storm has passed over land, and the interaction with the Yucatan Peninsula has prevented further strengthening so far. Conditions appear more favorable over the next 36 hours fro Alex to become the Atlantic's first hurricane of the 2010 season.
Here are the stats from NHC:
SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 85 MI...135 KM WNW OF CAMPECHE MEXICO
ABOUT 535 MI...860 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...990 MB...29.23 INCHES
The official NHC track forecast takes Alex ashore just south of the Texas-Mexico border Thursday morning as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale with winds near 98 mph.
There has been some northward shift in the forecast track in the past few runs, but for now it still appears the brunt of the storm should pass south of the BP Horizon spill zone.
Still a storm that big will generate some increased ocean swells and wave heights along the Gulf Coast, which could be problematic for cleanup and containment efforts later this week.
I like the disclaimer on the ensemble forecast tracks for Alex that says do not use for life and death decisions.