Enhanced MODIS SST during and after Hurricane Alex

Enhanced SST loop

MODIS enhanced SST loop from 1900 UTC 29 June to 0700 UTC 7 July 2010.

Hurricane Alex made landfall south of Brownsville Texas as a Category 2 storm at 0200 UTC 1 July.  It was the strongest Hurricane in the Altantic Basin since Hurricane Alma in 1966 and the first Hurricane in June since 1995.  The main impact from Hurricane Alex was heavy rainfall (3 to 8 inches) across all of South Texas.  The remnants of the Hurricane dissipated and stalled over the mountains of Mexico from July 2 to 5th, producing a large area of 10 to 20 inches of rain and resulted in major flooding on the Rio Grande between July 7-9.  Following Alex was another tropical cyclone which took a similar track (further north) and made landfall around noon July 8th, near South Padre Island in deep South Texas.  This system only strengthened into a tropical depression (#2) during the evening of July 7th and sustained winds at landfall were 35 knots.  Wind shear appeared stronger with tropical depression number 2 and it is possible that sea surface temperatures (SST) were slightly cooled with the passage of Hurricane Alex just days prior.   A loop of a new SST product was made in an effort to identify any cooling of the Gulf of Mexico and Bay of Campeche.

SPoRT recently made available to the NWS enhanced MODIS SST composite and latency products.  These differ from the original MODIS products which were identified as having some inconsistencies.  The new SST product uses multi-sensors that blend with microwave SST data from AMSR-E and GOES/POES information.  This product is expected to improve latency issues with the MODIS imagery.

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