The northeast quadrant of ALEX's eyewall shows strongest winds

ALEX’s winds increased from 90 mph to 100 mph as the eye came ashore on the northeast Mexico coast about 110 miles south of Brownsville. The enhanced satellite picture shows a darker spot in the red eyewall in the northeast quadrant of the storm. These peak winds will cross the coast shortly as the storm continues moving west at 10 mph.

This sudden strengthening of the hurricane reminds me of hurricane CELIA which roared across Corpus Christi on August 3, 1970. CELIA’s winds accelerated from 90 mph to 110 mph offshore, growing from a Category 1 storm to within 1 mph of reaching major storm Category 3 at landfall.

My 50 years of experience with hurricane tracking has taught me one thing: Each hurricane is different, and you have to watch for unexpected behavior as they make landfall.

In tracking ALEX as it neared the coast, the National Hurricane Center was right on top of it as they expected this acceleration of wind in their forecast discussions. Good job NHC!


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