Hurricane Harvey Menacing Texas Coast

Harvey is now a Category 2 Hurricane (at 9:25 am CDT; see National Hurricane Center for latest) with max winds of 110 mph…bordering on major hurricane status…as it marches toward the coast of Texas.

Radar image out of Brownsville, TX showing Harvey wobbling west-northwest.
Visible satellite image of Hurricane Harvey showing the well-organized system as it continues to slowly intensify. It will make landfall tonight.

Right now the system is undergoing an “Eyewall Replacement Cycle” this occurs when a hurricane develops a secondary eyewall which bigger tha. The initial eyewall and competes with it for airflow to maintain its thunderstorms. 

Illustration of eyewall relative of the eye of a mature hurricane. In the eye dry air from the upper atmosphere is dragged down, suppressing cloud development, leading to the quieter conditions. The eyewall, in contrast, has the most violent winds in the hurricane.
Zoomed in image of Harvey showing concentric eyewall structure with “moat” – area of subsidence – between the two eyewalls. The eyewalls are wind maxima (the outer eyewall is currently stronger and the inner one may weaken soon.

Harvey is expected to make landfall tonight. If the ERC ends and allows for restrengthening, it may make landfall as a Category 3 storm or higher. Regardless, storm surge up to 12 ft, damaging winds and over the next few days incredible inland flooding is likely.

Harvey will sit over SE TX for days producing extremely heavy rain.
Rainfall over portions of SE TX could max out at 30-35 inches. Devastating freshwater flooding is likely in some areas of repeated rainfall as Harvey brings an air mass of very high moisture content.

And a blunt reminder about why you must take these storms seriously- particularly the water…

Continue to follow me on Facebook (Meteorologist Nick Humphrey) and Twitter (@wxclimonews) for more frequent updates on Harvey throughout the day today! 


Author: Meteorologist Nick Humphrey

Meteorologist and geoscientist in Lincoln, NE. Seattle, WA native. Love weather, storm chasing/photography and planetary science.

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