Just in from the NHC:
…ALEX BECOMES THE FIRST HURRICANE OF THE 2010 SEASON AND THE FIRST JUNE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SINCE 1995…
The good news is that this is looking like a relatively minor storm – by hurricane standards:
ALEX IS BEING UPGRADED TO A 65-KT HURRICANE FOR THIS ADVISORY. VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO REMAIN BELOW 10 KT FOR THE NEXT 24-48 HOURS SO THE HURRICANE SHOULD REMAIN IN AN
ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE FOR INTENSIFICATION UP TO LANDFALL. THE SHIPS RAPID INTENSIFICATION INDEX SHOWS A 33 PERCENT PROBABILITY OF RAPID INTENSIFICATION…I.E. A 30-KT INCREASE OVER 24 HOURS. HOWEVER…NONE OF THE OTHER NUMERICAL INTENSITY GUIDANCE SHOWS ALEX STRENGTHENING BEYOND CATEGORY ONE STATUS PRIOR TO LANDFALL. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY IS VERY CLOSE TO THE LGEM GUIDANCE AND ABOUT THE SAME AS THAT FROM THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE.
This storm is still a significant danger to those along the Mexican and Texas coasts near landfall. Rainfall and flooding will be a far bigger threat than wind.
Alex is expected to be at the low-end of the hurricane strength spectrum, but still will bring torrential rains to a Rio Grande delta region ill-suited, both economically and geographically, to handle it.
Passing showers Tuesday quickly pooled along parts of downtown streets in Brownsville and Matamoros, a worrisome sign with Alex expected to dump eight to 12 inches of rain in the region and as much as 20 inches in isolated areas.