Experts eyeing possible sequel to Alex

NOAA Clouds

The tropics are fairly quiet now that Alex has made landfall in Mexico, but forecasters are watching the tropical moisture Alex left behind in the Gulf for possible development.

“The northeast wind created by the high to the north, combined with a south-to-southeast flow over the north-central Gulf of Mexico, may be enough to get the atmosphere spinning counterclockwise, the motion needed for tropical cyclone development,” said senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski with His report said the area from the Florida Panhandle to coastal Louisiana could slowly brew the next tropical disturbance or depression. “It would take quite awhile for that to happen,” said John Feerick, meteorologist in State College, Pa.

It also would require a combination of thunderstorm activity and the frontal boundary coming across the region to sit there to create the conditions for a storm, he said.

Another tropical system could bring additional oil ashore on the Coast and cause more disruptions to the cleanup operations at the Deepwater Horizon spill site and in the Gulf. High waves from Alex prevented skimming and other operations on the water for the last three days.

The water near the shore calmed by Thursday afternoon and BP spokesman Richard Judy said once the call is made by the Coast Guard that conditions allow work to resume in the Gulf, “we’re ready to go.”

Most of the thunderstorm activity in the next few days will be over the Gulf, and Feerick said the storms, along with swells out of the southwest from Alex, could keep the seas choppy.

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