Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NAS Kingsville Eyes Tropical Storm Alex

By Jon Gagné, Naval Air Station Kingsville Public Affairs

June 29, 2010 - NAVAL AIR STATION KINGSVILLE, Texas (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville set Condition of Readiness 4 (COR 4) June 28 in preparation for the arrival of tropical storm force winds from Tropical Storm Alex on the South Texas coast.

COR 4 is a normal destructive weather condition that is set when tropical storm or hurricane force winds are expected within 72 hours.

NAS Kingsville Commanding Officer Capt. Mark McLaughlin, who assumed command of the air station June 25, set COR 4 for the air station following a teleconference with Navy Region Southeast, and the Navy's weather command in Norfolk.

"It looks like Tropical Storm Alex's projected path has the brunt of the storm coming ashore south of Brownsville and Kingsville will not be in the direct path but we're still going to proceed with caution as the storm is over the Gulf of Mexico," McLaughlin said. "At this point, we're going to be securing potential missile hazards, making plans to protect aircraft and property, and ensuring our personnel have time to take care of their homes and families in case the storm should intensify."

As of noon June 28, the National Weather Service forecasts Tropical Storm Alex to intensify into a Category 2 Hurricane before making landfall somewhere near the Texas-Mexico border. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the coast of Texas south of Baffin Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande River. The Mexican government has issued a similar warning from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to La Cruz, Mexico.

As of noon June 28, Tropical Storm Alex was located near 20.3N, 91.7W with an estimated minimal central pressure of 989 mb. Maximum sustained winds registered 50 miles-per-hour (mph), and the storm is moving north-northwesterly at about 6 knots. Projected landfall is expected from South of Baffin Bay to the Mexican border at about 7 a.m. central time July 1, as a Category 2 Hurricane.

Tropical Storm-force winds are expected for the Brownsville, Texas area by 9 a.m. June 30, and as far north as Baffin Bay just south of Kingsville, by 6 p.m. Storm surge potential for the watch area is 4-6 feet, with a rainfall potential of 6-8 inches, with isolated 10-inches or more for coastal counties.

At present, entry points into the air station are operating as normal, and all base facilities are operating normal hours.

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