Hurricane Harvey has made landfall on the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts possibly as high as 145 mph around 10 pm CDT Friday night. It did so between Port Aransas and Port O’Conor.
As the system very slowly moves inland overnight it will gradually weaken. With that said, its damaging wind field will spread inland somewhat as it does so. However the biggest and most dangerous threat will continue to be (as it’s already begun) its heavy rainfall. As it stalls out “thanks” to VERY strong upper-level high pressure over the Western US, Harvey will literally sit over Southeast TX for 4-5 days dumping copious amounts of rain in bands of thunderstorms and tropical downpours. The result will likely be this:
These rainfall totals will come with rainfall rates of perhaps 4-6 inches/hr, capable of producing catastrophic flash flooding.
On a historic note: Hurricane Harvey is the first major hurricane (Cat 3+) to make landfall in the US since Wilma in 2005 and the first Category 4 to do so since Charley in 2004. It is the first major hurricane for Texas since 1999 Bret and first Category 4 for that state since 1961 Carla.
–Meteorologist Nick Humphrey