Tropical storm Harvey poised to strengthen, likely to landfall in Texas….then what?

The NHC stated a little while ago that Harvey was back to tropical storm intensity with winds of 40 mph. An Air Force plane, recon as we call it, confirmed the wind speed and so now we do indeed have a tropical storm once again.

A lot is going on with this storm and we are still not much closer to any definitive answers as to what the final track/intensity will be. Furthermore, the track AFTER Harvey makes landfall is also up for debate and carries a heavy load in terms of impacts to huge metro areas such as Houston.

Equally as important but for different reasons, the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is also at risk of seeing extreme rain over the next several days which has implications on farming and impacting a different segment of the population.

I am currently in Houston, TX preparing for what’s next with Harvey. I have plenty of equipment with me which can be set up to document and stream live what ever impacts head this way. I do not know yet how far south I will need to travel – perhaps Corpus Christi, perhaps South Padre and vicinity. I simply am in the same situation as millions of people along the coast and inland here in Texas: we just have to wait and see.

My latest video discussion has been posted on YouTube and is available below. I will have another update here by 2pm ET Thursday.

M. Sudduth 1:40 AM ET Aug 24

Harvey moving through the Windward Islands today bound for western Caribbean

TS Harvey track map from the NHC

TS Harvey track map from the NHC

Tropical storm Harvey is moving quickly through the Windward Islands where it has dumped heavy rain, resulting in some flooding in portions of Barbados this morning. The quick motion off to the west will mean that conditions begin to improve by this afternoon across the region as the storm enters the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Once Harvey clears the Windwards today, the next two or three days will be spent watching the evolution of not only its intensity but also its track. Some of the computer guidance suggests that Harvey will become a hurricane and a lot will depend on how close to Central America the storm gets. Obviously the more land interaction there is, the less Harvey will strengthen. Water temps in the western Caribbean are very warm with plenty of fuel for development.

The track forecast is fairly straight-forward essentially taking Harvey generally westward across the Caribbean through the weekend. Towards the end of the five day track the storm is expected to slow down some and gain a little more latitude. How much farther north remains to be seen but it is entirely possible that Harvey will end up over Honduras and move inland from there – never coming back out over water again. We will just have to wait a couple of days to see how the steering pattern plays out over the United States and what changes to the track result.

In the mean time, invest area 92L is holding on for now, probably as a tropical depression but since it is not near land, it really doesn’t matter in my opinion. Strong upper level winds are beginning to impact the system which means it will not have much time to strengthen further and it may just dissipate on its way west-northwest to the north of the Lesser Antilles. There is an outside chance that 92L survives the strong upper winds in a few days and thus could be an issue for the Bahamas or Florida but right now, that seems to be a long shot. We never say never this time of year but as of today, I am not too concerned with the future of 92L.