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Tropical Storm Alex was the first named storm of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. Alex formed on July 27 from a tropical wave the moved off the coast of Africa. The storm was initially classified as Tropical Depression One before it was upgraded to a tropical storm on July 28. Tropical Storm Alex slowly strengthened and reached peak intensity as a 50 mph (85 km/h) tropical storm on July 31. Wind shear had prohibited any further development of Tropical Storm Alex. Alex had slowly weakened back over the next two days, weakening to a minimal tropical storm by August 1. Persistent wind shear cause Tropical Storm Alex to weaken back to a tropical depression and ultimately dissipate on August 2. Tropical Storm Alex remained at sea for its entire duration, as a result, the storm did not have any affect on land.
On July 26 a well-defined tropical wave moved off of Africa. Ship and satellites reported the presences of a surface circulation in association with the tropical wave. It was estimated that the wave attained tropical depression status on July 27, it was centered about Template:Convert/LoffAnoneDbSoff south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. The depression had a relatively fast forward speed of Template:Convert/mph. Initially, the depression was elongated and had minimal convection. On July 27 and during most of July 28, the depression changed little in organization, despite the fact that favorable conditions existed. Late on July 28, convection increased near the center, and winds also increased to Template:Convert/mph. This prompted the National Hurricane Center to upgrade the depression to a tropical storm, it was given the name Alex. By the time of its upgrade, Alex still had a relatively fast forward speed at Template:Convert/mph.
Further development came slowly, as a mid-upper level trough and another cyclonic circulation was present. Satellite imagery indicated that Alex was experiencing vertical wind shear. There was a burst in convection on the evening of July 30. This allowed Alex to attain a peak intensity of Template:Convert/mph and a minimum pressure at 1002 mbar at 0000 UTC. Southerly wind shear increased soon after the peak intensity was attained. This allowed no further development and it soon began to take its toll on Tropical Storm Alex. On August 1 and most of August 2 it maintained minimal tropical storm status. Late on August 2 it was downgraded to a tropical depression. Early on August 3, information from the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft indicated that Alex no longer had a closed circulation. Therefore, it was declared dissipated about Template:Convert/LoffAnoneDbSoff to the northeast of Saint Martin.
This was the first time that the National Hurricane Center used the name Alex for a named storm in the Atlantic. The name Alex was selected to replace Andrew, due to the disaster caused by Andrew in 1992. This would all be the last time until 2002 that an Atlantic hurricane would form in the month of July. Tropical Storm Alex did not affect land, and as a result no fatalities of damage were reported. There were also no watches or warnings issued.
- ↑ Lawrence, Miles (July 27, 1998). "Tropical Depression One Advisory #1". National Hurricane Center. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/pub/PAL0198.001. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
- ↑ Lawrence, Miles (July 27, 1998). "Tropical Storm Alex Discussion #1". National Hurricane Center. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/dis/NAL0198.001. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
- ↑ Rappaport, Edward (July 28, 1998). "Tropical Storm Alex Advisory #7". National Hurricane Center. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/pub/PAL0198.007. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
- ↑ Guiney, John (December 22, 1998). "Tropical Storm Alex Preliminary Report". National Hurricane Center. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1998alex.html. Retrieved December 21, 2009.