Harvey producing catastrophic flooding, PTC #10 develops off Carolinas

From Meteorologist Zack Fradella as of 5 p.m. central time:

Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump feet of rain on Southeast Texas and the metropolitan Houston area, meanwhile a new system is expected to develop off the Carolinas for the start of the new week.

Harvey has produced between 20-30″ of rain in the past 24-48 hrs across a large portion of Southeast Texas where an additional two feet of rain is possible over the next few days as Harvey slowly meanders back offshore. It’s now becoming a reality that Harvey will move back off the Texas coast on Monday and could restrengthen slightly before making a second landfall near Galveston on Wednesday. As the storm sits offshore, heavy rain bands will continue to spill into Texas and Louisiana causing even more widespread flooding.

Mark is covering the flooding in Houston and placed a camera along 610 where Braeswood crosses underneath near Brays Bayou.

Brays Bayou at 610/Braeswood Live Cam

The National Hurricane Center states that as much as 50″ of rain are possible when all is said and done. Harvey is not expected to dissipate until it moves far enough inland which is not expected to occur until the end of this week.

Off the Carolinas is Potential Tropical Cyclone #10 which was labeled as of the 4 p.m. CT advisory from the National Hurricane Center. This system is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Irma on Monday but remain a weak tropical storm as it tracks right along the South Carolina and North Carolina coastal areas on Monday and Tuesday. By midweek the storm will quickly be moving out to sea where little strengthening is expected. The coastal areas of the Carolinas has the potential to receive  a few inches of rain but no major impacts are expected.


Harvey slowly weakening as the flood phase begins

From Meteorologist Zack Fradella as of 12 p.m. central time:

Hurricane Harvey is now inland after making landfall around 10 p.m. central time on Friday night as an intense Category 4 hurricane. The storm made landfall just east of Rockport, Texas and is now the first Category 4 storm to hit the United States since Charley in 2004 and the first major strike since Wilma in 2005.

As of the 10 a.m. CT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the storm remains a hurricane with winds of 75 mph. The storm is expected to slowly weaken to a tropical storm by Saturday evening. Now that phase 1 of Harvey is winding down as the wind and storm surge subside, our attention turns to phase 2 which is the extensive flood risk coming for the next week.

The National Hurricane Center forecast very little motion to Harvey over the next 5 days. This will lead to days of heavy rain potential for south-central and southeast Texas which could expand into portions of Louisiana as we go into next week. Between 15-30″ of rain are expected over a large area which will lead to the possibility of life-threatening flooding.

Here are some of highest wind gusts reported a time of landfall: 132 mph Port Aransas, 125 mph Copano Village, 83 mph Victoria, 63 mph Corpus Christi

Mark is currently enroute to retrieve the pod in Port O’Connor and will then be heading to Houston for flood coverage.

As they travel back towards Houston today they will document as much damage as possible and post it to our Twitter feed. Follow them on Twitter: @hurricanetrack

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Harvey not gone – likely to strengthen again over Gulf, threaten Texas as a hurricane

Remember tropical storm Harvey? It made its way across the open Atlantic as a tropical wave and became a tropical storm just before reaching the Windward Islands a few days ago – bringing flooding rains to Barbados especially. Then, it died away, almost.

The low level energy associated with Harvey has remained very much intact and is now over the Yucatan peninsula, poised to emerge in to the Bay of Campeche later tonight. From there, computer models strongly suggest that it will strengthen and perhaps to hurricane intensity. This is concerning since it will be doing so while moving towards land, possibly Texas and/or northeast Mexico. The time frame from it becoming a depression again to hurricane strength may be short and people along the coast may not realize what’s coming.

I have produced a video discussion covering this topic plus a look at 92L (which is not likely to do very much in the coming days). Check out the video below and note that I will have another one posted early this afternoon:

M. Sudduth 10:15 AM ET Aug 22


Tropical storm possible for Windward Islands later tonight and tomorrow

The NHC has begun advisories on what they refer to as “Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine”. This is a new policy implemented this year to begin advisories and thus the issuance of watches and warnings for a disturbance that has not officially become a tropical depression or tropical storm – but is expected to. The new policy gives an advantage to officials to be able to warn the public earlier instead of having to wait until recon verifies or other data indicates that a specific disturbance has in fact strengthened in to a tropical cyclone. In this case, we are talking about invest area 91L which is located just east of the Windward Islands.

I have prepared a video discussion covering the impacts that are expected for the region as the soon-to-be-storm passes through and then in to the Caribbean Sea. I will have another update and video post later this evening.

M. Sudduth 11:15 AM ET Aug 17


Hurricane season about to kick in to high gear

It’s the middle of August and that means the hurricane season normally begins to ramp up as conditions across the Atlantic Basin become more favorable. I think that this season, however, things are going to be busier than normal and that may be a bit of an understatement.

Right now we are tracking TS Gert well off the Southeast coast of the U.S. Top winds are 60 mph but Gert is almost certain to become a hurricane as it moves around the edge of the Bermuda High, eventually turning away from the U.S.

The soon-to-be hurricane won’t part ways 100% quietly. Beginning as soon as later today, swells generated by the storm (and eventually what will be a hurricane) will begin impacting the coast of North Carolina and points north. This will be great news for surfers but for novice swimmers, children etc. it can mean disaster! I am not kidding about this, larger waves are indeed exciting to play in but they can lead to an increase in rip currents and the energy within the waves can cause physical harm when they crash on top of you. Be careful out there – this is not something to just brush off. As Gert gets stronger, the swells will get larger and this will remain an issue for several days.

Next up we have invest area 91L out in the open tropical Atlantic which has a 60% chance of developing as of the 8am ET NHC tropical weather outlook. All in all, it looks as though the environment is conducive for this system to strengthen and become a tropical storm later this week.

As of this morning, the guidance from computer models is divided between the ECMWF or Euro which is very aggressive with development and a solid west path across the Atlantic and other models such as the GFS which don’t seem to do much with the system. Considering the poor track record of the GFS this season, I am inclined to put more faith in the Euro for the time being. Perhaps once the envelope of energy associated with 91L consolidates and we get a closed low – then the other models will latch on and aid in helping to understand where this feature will track over the next several days. For now, it is out over the open Atlantic and not a threat to any land areas.

I cover these topics and more in my video discussion for today which is posted below.

M. Sudduth