Event Summary
     National Weather Service, Raleigh NC


Hurricane Alex, August 2004
Updated 2004/08/06




Satellite Imager of Hurricane Alex on 2004/08/03 at 1745Z - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)


Event Headlines

...Hurricane Alex was the first storm of the 2004 hurricane season...
...Hurricane Alex was a small compact storm with limited, direct impact on Central North Carolina...


Overview

Hurricane Alex was the first storm of the 2004 hurricane season. The hurricane reached Category 2 intensity as it tracked between just offshore from Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras North Carolina.

Tropical Depression Alex formed about 170 miles east of Jacksonville Florida at 500 PM EDT on Saturday, July 31. The system was initially poorly organized but it reached Tropical Storm intensity at 200 PM EDT on Sunday August 1, 2004. Alex gradually intensified off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina on Sunday and Monday. The storm moved slowly and erratically before a definitive northeast motion began Monday afternoon.

Alex reached Hurricane intensity at 200 AM on Tuesday August 3, 2004 while centered about 75 mile south-southeast of Wilmington, NC. The hurricane quickly intensified Tuesday morning as it traveled just off the North Carolina coast. At 200 PM EDT the Hurricane reached category 2 status when its sustained winds reached 100 mph.

Hurricane Alex’s track paralleled the North Carolina coast on Tuesday with the center of the storm remaining just offshore. The western fringe of the eye wall skirted the Outer Banks from Cape Lookout to Cape Hatteras. Peak wind gusts of 102 mph were observed at Hatteras Village. The northwesterly winds over the Pamlico Sound drove a storm surge of up to 3 to 6 feet into portions of Ocracoke and Hatters Village.

Hurricane Alex pulled away from the coast during the late afternoon hours on Tuesday.



Additional Details
Additional details may become available at the NWS offices directly affected by the storm...
The National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City
The National Weather Service Wilmington




Hurricane Alex Track

Hurricane Alex's was track was erratic and meandering on Saturday July 31 and Sunday August 1, 2004 as the tropical cyclone was in its development and organizational phase. As the system became better organized late Sunday August 1 and Monday August 2, 2004, its motion became northeastward and its forward motion gradually increased.

Hurricane Alex Track
Hurricane Alex Track - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)



Detailed Hurricane Alex Track
Hurricane Alex Track - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)



Maximum Wind Gusts from Hurricane Alex


Maximum wind gusts from Hurricane Alex shows the highest wind speeds were located across the outer banks and Carteret County. Wind speeds increased dramatically toward Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke. The highest wind gust report came from Hatteras Village where a wind gust to 102 MPH was observed at 220 PM EDT.

Hurricane force wind gusts were confined to Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke. Tropical storm force wind gusts extended north and west to far northern Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Pamlico, and western Carteret Counties.

Maximum wind gusts from Hurricane Alex



Radar Imagery of Hurricane Alex


Short Radar Loop from KMHX
Loop of base reflectivity imagery from 101 PM EDT (1701Z) through 222 PM EDT (1822Z).

Very Long Radar Loop from KMHX
Loop of base reflectivity imagery from 903 AM EDT (1303Z) through 222 PM EDT (1822Z).



Regional Composite Radar Imagery of Hurricane Alex on 2004/08/02 at 800 PM EDT (00Z)

Regional Radar Imagery of Hurricane Alex  - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)



Regional Composite Radar Imagery of Hurricane Alex on 2004/08/03 at 600 AM EDT (10Z)

Regional Radar Imagery of Hurricane Alex  - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)



Regional Composite Radar Imagery of Hurricane Alex on 2004/08/03 at 100 PM EDT (17Z)

Regional Radar Imagery of Hurricane Alex  - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)



Height of the Storm

The highest wind gusts from Hurricane Alex were reported from around 100 PM EDT (1700Z) through around 230 PM EDT (1830Z). The reports below detail some of the impacts Hurricane Alex had on the Outer Banks during this period. The reports are from the Preliminary Local Storm Report from the National Weather Service Office in Newport/Morehead City NC.

Java Loop of base reflectivity radar imagery from KMHX between 101 PM EDT (1701Z) and 222 PM EDT (1822Z).



NWUS52 KMHX
LSRMHX

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC

..TIME...   ...EVENT...     ...CITY LOCATION...      ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....     ..COUNTY LOCATION...ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..


0120 PM     HURRICANE        HATTERAS VILLAGE        35.22N 75.69W 
08/03/2004                   OUTER BANKS DARE   NC   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            78 MPH WIND GUST.


0140 PM     HURRICANE        OCRACOKE                35.10N 75.98W 
08/03/2004                   OUTER BANKS HYDE   NC   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            4 FOOT SOUNDSIDE STORM SURGE. WIDESPREAD FLOODING AND 
            CARS FLOATING.


0145 PM     HURRICANE        OCRACOKE                35.10N 75.98W 
08/03/2004                   OUTER BANKS HYDE   NC   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            WIDESPREAD SOUNDSIDE FLOODING. NUMEROUS HOMES FLOODED.


0200 PM     HURRICANE        OCRACOKE                35.10N 75.98W 
08/03/2004                   OUTER BANKS HYDE   NC   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            5 FEET OF WATER ON PARTS OF HIGHWAY 12. WIDESPREAD 
            SOUNDSIDE FLOODING. 


0215 PM     HURRICANE        BUXTON                  35.26N 75.53W 
08/03/2004                   OUTER BANKS DARE   NC   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            SUSTAINED WINDS OF 80 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 90-100 MPH.


0215 PM     HURRICANE        HATTERAS VILLAGE        35.22N 75.69W 
08/03/2004                   OUTER BANKS DARE   NC   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            SOUNDSIDE FLOODING. OVERWASH ON PARTS OF HIGHWAY 12 IN 
            HATTERAS VILLAGE. 


0220 PM     HURRICANE        HATTERAS VILLAGE        35.22N 75.69W 
08/03/2004                   OUTER BANKS DARE   NC   STORM CHASER    

            102 MPH MEASURED GUST.





Photographs of a Rain Band as it Moved through Raleigh that was Indirectly Associated with Alex on Monday, August 2, 2004

(Click the image to enlarge.)


View of intense rain band as it approaches Centennial Campus. The photograph is taken looking east - Click to enlarge           View of intense rain band as it moves overhead on Centennial Campus. The photograph is taken looking northeast - Click to enlarge           View of intense rain band as it passes by on Centennial Campus. The photograph is taken looking north - Click to enlarge



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