Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weather through Mid-Week/1st Tropical Storm Alex

Tropical Storm Alex has formed in the western Caribbean. As I write this post on Saturday afternoon, Hurricane Reconaissance report is that the winds are already at 65 mph. If it makes it to 74 mph, then it will be a hurricane. But the storm will be hitting Belize in a few hours and likely crossing over the Yucatan, weakening and moving into the southern Gulf of Mexico. Almost all forecast models now agree on it moving across the southern Gulf into Mexico by mid-week. The National Hurricane Center forecast has it very close to hurricane strength before the 2nd landfall.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Celia is moving westward and weakening. Hurricane Darby has also weakened and is forecast to move west and then turn northeast as it weakens and turns into a rainmaker.

In the US, a moderate risk for severe weather today in the 4 corners region of South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. On Sunday, there will be some storms from the southwest through the Midwest into the Great Lakes and into the southeast. It will be very hot across the southwest with highs in the 100s and 90s for the rest of the south except coastal California which will have highs in the 60s. Highs will be in the 70s and 80s across the northern states.

Houston will be a tiny bit less humid on Sunday with only about a 10% chance for a shower or thunderstorm. On Monday through Wednesday, tropical flow returns with scattered showers and thunderstorms each day.

Let's do hurricane or huracán, pronounced hoo-rah-CAHN. What is the average date of the first huracán forming in the Atlantic basin. Find out in the AND MORE section.

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I'm hearing a lot of grumbling that a storm forming in late June is soooooooooooo unusual. Actually, a storm forms in the Atlantic basin in June once every 2 years. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for years 1966 through 2009, the average 1st named storm is 7/9, 1st hurricane is 8/10 and 1st major hurricane is September 4th. Now, if Alex becomes a hurricane, that will be rather early.

I also looked up the statistics for hurricanes hitting Texas in June. According to George W. Bomar's book Texas Weather, 2nd Edition Revised, here are some June strikes for Texas for the month of June for the years 1900 through 1989:
1913 June 27th Padre Island 100 mph winds at landfall
1921 June 22nd Port O'Connor 110 mph winds at landfall
1929 June 28th Port O'Connor 100 mph winds at landfall
1936 June 27th Port Aransas 80 mph winds at landfall
1957 June 27th Near Sabine Pass 100 mph winds at landfall (Audrey)
1986 June 26th Sea Rim State Park 87 mph winds at landfall (Bonnie)
And, I checked NOAA's archive for 1950 to 2009 and there were no June hurricane strikes from 1990 to 2009.
So, a June hurricane strike on Texas is rare.

Also, another interesting statistic I figured out, between these 2 sources for the total time period 1900 to 2009, there
are no July hurricanes strikes on Texas until at least July 15th.

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Have a great weekend and for all of you heading out on vacation--safe travel.

Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman