UPDATE: The National Hurricance Center updated its forecast for Tropical Storm Alex
at 11:00 a.m. EDT. The storm has moved off the Yucatan Peninsula and into the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, raising questions and fears about its increasing strength and the oil containment operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Below, Surge Desk answers five questions about the storm.
1. Where is Tropical Storm Alex now?
In the Gulf of Mexico about 75 miles west of Campeche, Mexico.
2. How strong is Alex now?
Maximum sustained wind speeds are about 60 mph right now.
3. Where is Tropical Storm Alex going?
Forecast models are showing different possible tracks for the storm, but the most likely landfall will occur on the northeastern coast of Mexico and southern Texas on Thursday. Other storm models predict Alex could land on the eastern Texas coast or even western Louisiana.
4. Will Tropical Storm Alex become a hurricane?
Alex will likely become a hurricane by early Tuesday morning, reaching Category 2 status by Wednesday.
5. How will Tropical Storm Alex affect the oil spill containment operations?
If Alex keeps on a western trajectory, landing on the northern coast of Mexico or southern Texas coast, it should not affect the oil containment operations very much. Higher waves could interfere with booms but would not shut the operation down completely.
satellite image of Tropical Storm Alex's path and rainfall over the weekend.