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Hurricane Alex (01L) South of Oil Spill – July 2nd, 2010

23.7N 94W

July 2nd, 2010 Category: Environmental Disasters, Image of the day, Tropical Cyclones

Hurricane Alex (01L) - June 26th, 2010

Hurricane Alex (01L) - June 26th, 2010

Alex - Enhanced image

Alex - Enhanced image

Alex South of Oil Spill

Alex South of Oil Spill

Close-up of Oil Spill

Close-up of Oil Spill

The main image shows Alex (01L) on June 26th, when it was starting to become better organized and increase to hurricane strength over the Caribbean Sea. At that time, the system was reported to have winds of 65 mph (100 km/h).

One detail image shows the system in the lower reaches of the Gulf of Mexico, where it was feared that it would cause greater environmental damage by passing through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill area, best observed in the close-up. Fortunately, the system has stayed relatively clear of the site, although its approach did cause BP to delay plans to increase oil capture from the leak by a week. Tarballs from the spill as large as apples washed onshore around Grand Isle, as well as other parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, from high storm tides created by the hurricane.

The system has now made landfall over Mexico and is weakening. Its remnants, visible in the animated imagery, are moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/hr), with maximum sustained winds near 30 mph (45 km/hr), with higher gusts. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).

Track of Hurricane 01L - July 1st, 2010 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Hurricane 01L

The remnants of Alex are expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches across portions of northern and central Mexico. Isolated storm-total amounts of 20 inches are possible over the higher elevations of northeastern Mexico. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in mountainous terrain.

The remnants of Alex are also expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over portions of southern Texas, with isolated maximum storm-total amounts of around 12 inches. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods.

Saltillo, Monterrey and Venustiano Carranza Reservoir, Mexico

25.6N 100.3W

February 4th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Mexico - January 16th, 2011

Two large cities can be observed nestled amidst mountain ridges in northeastern Mexico. To the east (lower right quadrant) is the city of Monterrey, the capital city of the state of Nuevo León. It has the second largest metropolitan area in Mexico.

West of Monterrey is Saltillo, the capital city of the state of Coahuila If the full Metropolitan Area is considered, making it the 20th biggest metro area in the country.

Visible to the north of the two cities, near the top edge, is the Venustiano Carranza Reservoir. Waters levels in the reservoir increased dramatically in early July 2010 due to incessant rains from Hurricane Alex, leading Mexican authorities to evacuate nearby towns for fears the dam would overflow.

Mississippi River Delta and Gulf of Mexico Waters by Oil Spill – July 12th, 2010

29.1N 89.2W

July 12th, 2010 Category: Environmental Disasters, Image of the day, Rivers

USA - June 24th, 2010

USA - June 24th, 2010

This image shows the Mississippi River Delta and the water around the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Sediments spilling from the delta tinge some of the water a greenish color. Other dark black areas may be oil, although the precise location of the oil slick is best observed in other images taken by radar or with sun glinting off the surface: click here.

BP and now estimates that they have spent in excess of $3 billion attempting cap off the leaking well and in attempts to clean up the devastation caused by the oil slick.

According to the company the use a giant tanker which has been specially adapted in order to skim off huge quantities of crude from the surface of the ocean has proved to be inconclusive. This is the world’s largest vessel designed for the skimming task, can supposedly picked up in excess of 20,000,000 gallons of oil stained water each day.

However, the appalling weather caused by the passing hurricane hampered the operation making it only partially effective. Other skimming and barrage operations were out of service for a week due to the weather and choppy seas that Hurricane Alex (01L) produced.

More areas have been closed to fishing according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has expanded the area to cover a new north-westerly boundary off the coast of the State of Louisiana. This brings the total no-fishing zone to around 81,000 mi.² or third of all the federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Spiral Shape of TS Alex (01L) as it Gained Hurricane Strength

23.8N 93.5W

July 7th, 2010 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Hurricane Alex (01L) - June 29th, 2010

Hurricane Alex (01L) - June 29th, 2010

Alex - Enhanced image

Alex - Enhanced image

On June 25th, the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Tropical Depression One, the first tropical depression of the season. Early on June 26, the NHC upgraded the depression to a tropical storm and named it Alex (01L).

Alex moved west and strengthened before making landfall in Belize with 65 mph winds on June 26. On June 27, Alex emerged into the Bay of Campeche and began to strengthen again.

On June 29, after continuous drops in pressure, the Hurricane Hunters found that Alex had strong enough winds to be upgraded to hurricane status. This image shows the system on that day, with an interesting coiled shape. Accordingly, later that night, Alex was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane.

This made the storm the first hurricane of the season, and the first June hurricane in the Atlantic since 1995’s Hurricane Allison. Alex later went on to make landfall as a powerful Category 2 hurricane in Soto la Marina.

Hurricane Darby (05E) at Category 1 Strength

17.1N 109.4W

July 2nd, 2010 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Hurricane Darby (05E) - June 26th, 2010

Hurricane Darby (05E) - June 26th, 2010

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Hurricane Darby (05E) began as a large area of low pressure associated with a broad tropical wave off the coast of Mexico on June 21st.  During the evening of June 22, it was upgraded into a tropical depression, and had become a strong tropical storm by the afternoon of June 23.

Darby attained hurricane status early the next morning, while located about 235 mi (375 km) south-southwest of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. Steadily intensifying, Darby attained major hurricane status on June 25.

However, its environment becoming increasingly hostile, it weakened back to a Category 2 hurricane the next day, and then a Category 1 by the afternoon of the 26th, the day this image was taken. By that evening, Darby had weakened to a tropical storm, and it continued weakening into the 27th; with its maximum winds dropping to minimal tropical storm intensity by the following morning.

Shortly thereafter, Darby was downgraded into a tropical depression, and later that day, decayed into a remnant low. Darby was absorbed into the Atlantic side of Tropical Storm Alex‘s circulation, where the remnant low was disrupted but resumed a large burst of convection.

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