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PostSubject: Steering currents    Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:29 am

The system that would become Hurricane Alicia originated from the western end of a frontal trough that stretched from New England to the Gulf of Mexico.[9] Satellite pictures showed a meso-scale low pressure area that had moved off the Alabama and Mississippi coasts near the trough and was possibly the precursor system to Alicia. Pressures in the Gulf of Mexico were high and stayed high during the early development stages. On August 15, a ship recorded a minimal pressure of 1015 millibars (29.99 inHg), when the system was upgraded into Tropical Storm Alicia. With high environmental pressures around it, Alicia remained a small system.[9]

Steering currents above Alicia remained weak during the storm's lifetime.[9] However, a ridge was well formed to the north of the developing storms. With fluctuations in the pressures, Alicia began to drift to west on August 16. This was short-lived, as Alicia turned to the northwest towards Texas. During the period of August 16 to August 18, an anticyclone had formed over Alicia and along with slow movement over warm waters, caused Alicia to intensify rapidly. The pressure in Alicia decreased one millibar an hour in the 40 hours before landfall. Alicia peaked at 115 mph (185 km/h) in winds and 962 millibars (28.39 inHg) in pressure on August 18. Alicia made landfall near Galveston, Texas on August 18 as a Category 3 hurricane. Alicia weakened quickly over land and accelerated over the Midwest, before dissipating over Nebraska on August 21.[9]

As Alicia moved northward, the remnants caused moderate to heavy rainfall in several states.[10] Houston suffered heavy damage, including thousands of shattered glass panes from downtown skyscrapers. In the end, Alicia killed 22 people and caused $2 billion (1983 USD) in damage ($4.1 billion, 2007 USD).



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