[Saturday] Harvey Now Inland, but Flooding Threat Just Beginning

   Posted by Levi at 2:42pm on August 26, 2017

Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas late Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane. As the storm drifts inland, winds are diminishing, but remain dangerous, with hurricane force wind gusts still possible near the storm core today. The storm surge threat along the coast is not over, as strong onshore flow southeast of Harvey’s center could keep water levels well above normal for some time yet, and a Storm Surge Warning remains in effect for a portion of the Texas coastline.

While Harvey will weaken like any hurricane that moves over land, this unfortunately is only the beginning of the flooding threat for SE Texas. Hurricanes can drop copious rainfall for days after landfall, and in this case, Harvey is not expected to move much at all over the next several days. Current forecasts suggest that Harvey could be barely 100 miles from its current location by next Thursday. This is forecast to result in heavy rainfall of unprecedented magnitude for such a large area, with widespread storm totals of 15-30 inches, and isolated amounts up to 40 inches. This will likely result in catastrophic flooding in portions of SE Texas. Rainfall and flooding can vary greatly from place to place, and some locales will be luckier than others, but it’s not possible to know in advance which specific locations will see the worst problems. Don’t drive in your car if there is a flood warning for your area or it is raining heavily. The majority of flood-related fatalities are due to people getting stuck in their vehicles. You are vastly safer inside a structure.

Isolated tornadoes are also possible, especially in the outer bands north and east of Harvey’s center, and some tornadoes have indeed been reported in the Houston area since last night. These tornadoes are typically harder to see coming than “normal” tornadoes, as they are often moving quickly and wrapped in rain. Keep your weather radio on listening for tornado and flash flood warnings.

Do not assume that it’s safe to begin moving around and driving until your local officials say so. This is not a normal storm, and your local area could be hazardous for many days.

Hang in there and stay safe everyone. There is a long road ahead.


9 comments

   

Comments

  • Ray says:

    Hoped we’d be hearing more from you over the last 24 hours.

  • Carol Mahler says:

    Thank you for ALWAYS providing us with the most accurate information and forecasts, Levi! You and the NHC are the only forecasters I give credence to!

  • Frank says:

    Levi you are a master at painting the weather “picture” with words. Always intelligent with easy to understand concepts of a complex system. Well done again!

  • Tricia Hermes says:

    Really good blog.

    When will newest computer ensembles be available?

    Newest NHC projection seems to take it more north than east. Is this good or bad news for Houston area?

  • Robert says:

    I want to know if these collapsed houses they are showing on the Weather Channel are right on the beach or within 3 miles of the beach?

  • Adrian Pfeffer says:

    Any possibility I92L currently over Florida will merge with Harvey or will it spin into the Atlantic as previously predicted?

  • Weather guy says:

    Hey Levi, I never comment but really enjoy all of your analysis. Just wondering, with the high moisture content in the soil and sufficient latent heat, is there any chance Harvey could take part in a brown ocean scenario sometime during the next few days? Thanks.

  • Amanda says:

    Please do another one of your videos explaining everything, we live southwest of Houston and are wondering if this thing is really going to loop back around. Your video’s are the best information that I could find. The local tv stations don’t explain anything, just keep saying the models don’t agree and so high level of uncertainty. Please post again so we can understand more of what is going on. Thank you so much for all that you have kept us informed so far!

  • J.L. says:

    To the west of Harvey was not so bad, the east side was the bad side. Pearland, Texas lost electricity around midnight, and came back on later this morning. Corpus Christi was not that bad as expected from winds. The flooding is yet to be determined.

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