Tropical Impacts on Texas possible this weekend

HOUSTON - The remnants of Harvey are now over the Yucatan peninsula and emerging over the southern Gulf of Mexico as of this entry. The system remains poorly organized as it continues on its heading towards the northwest.

From the National Hurricane Center:

As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, the NHC indicates that there is a 100% chance of regeneration of Harvey into a depression or storm.

"Satellite images indicate that an area of low pressure over the Yucatan Peninsula, associated with the remnants of Harvey, has become better defined during the day. Environmental conditions are conducive for development when the system moves over the Bay of Campeche tonight, and a tropical depression is expected to form over in the southwestern gulf on Wednesday or Thursday, and move in the general direction of the Texas coast on Friday.

Interests in northeastern Mexico and along the Texas coast should monitor the progress of this system, as it could produce storm surge and tropical storm or hurricane force winds along portions of the Texas coast..."

 

 

The hurricane reconnaissance plane, also known as the "Hurricane Hunters," are scheduled to fly this system first thing on Wednesday. A NOAA gulf stream aircraft, seen above, will also fly around the system to sample the steering currents and atmospheric conditions ahead of Harvey for better model data.

What We Know:

Regardless of what transpires, the risk of life-threatening flooding is real.

There are many scenarios that could evolve from Harvey; ranging from a weak tropical storm to a major hurricane hitting anywhere from northern Mexico to Houston. No one scenario has a better chance than the next of coming to fruition. 

Until a storm actually develops with a definitive surface circulation, then consult the models for entertainment purposes only. All areas from Beaumont to Tampico need to be on alert for possible impacts on their/our coast by the end of the week. 

Regardless of whatever happens with Harvey, whether it redevelops or it doesn't, this system could be a prolific rain maker and a widespread, far-reaching flood event as some models show the system stalling over Texas. 

Will It Become A Hurricane?

In short: possibly. The answer to that question lies with the upper-level low over the northwestern gulf. Currently that low is creating a lot of wind shear over the Gulf of Mexico (seen in red below). In the near term, that will keep Harvey from rapidly organizing. However computer models continue to advertise that low weakening. That means the wind shear lowers and the environment becomes conducive for intensification. 

If it does become a hurricane residents won't have the luxury of time on your hands to evacuate like other storms that have preceded it. Some models, including the GFS and Euro, show a rapidly intensifying system as it nears the coast, very much like Hurricane Alicia did in 1983. That storm went from a tropical wave to a category 3 hurricane within two days leaving many residents scrambling. 

Where's It Going?

It's too early to know. All areas from the Texas/Louisiana state line to Tampico, Mexico need to be weather aware for any eventuality. The models over the last 24 hours have made dramatic shifts northward with many members now showing a potential Texas landfall of Harvey, some even getting into our neighborhood. 

This was Monday afternoon's model runs. Notice the spread in the solutions with many still showing a south Texas or northern Mexico landfall.

Today's model runs as of 12z  now show a central Texas coast hit with many of the ensemble members even further up the coast.

It's imperative to understand that these are just models and they are a tool to forecast. They are NOT the forecast. These models could easily shift back south or perhaps even further east. 

GFS Model:

EURO Model: 

FINALLY:

The scenarios of Harvey are wide ranging from no storm to a major hurricane. From a little rain to feet of rain. Making a good forecast is to understand the best and worst case scenarios and finding the middle ground in between. It's important to be weather aware this week and tune in no less than twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) for the very latest updates regarding this potential tropical situation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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