Tropical Storm Harvey Could Become The First Hurricane To Strike Texas In Nearly A Decade This Weekend

News Editor
08.24.17

Millions of Texans currently sit in the path of Tropical Storm Harvey as the storm churns through warm Gulf of Mexico waters. This CBS News clip ominously reveals that a four-foot storm surge could source from a system that’s gaining strength after winds appeared to flag earlier this week. As of 4:00am CST on Thursday, the National Weather Service in Houston issued hurricane and tropical storm warnings for much of the Texas coast. Harvey is poised to make landfall sometime on Friday (or early Saturday), and it could gain hurricane status by Friday morning.

Upon landfall, the storm is expected to stall, thereby “bring[ing] multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall, storm surge, and possible hurricane conditions.” In other words, this could become the first hurricane to strike Texas since 2008. And although the storm may only achieve Category 1 hurricane status — although updated projections point toward a Category 3 status at landfall — it could bring anywhere between 10-20 inches of rain in standstill mode. San Antonio and Houston are expected to be hit hard, but most of the Texas coast is wisely sandbagging in preparation.

To the east, Louisiana could be heavily affected as well. NOAA is warning people to view this storm with the utmost seriousness, for heavy rainfall could stretch from Saturday to next Wednesday. Meteorologists also warn that the storm’s unpredictable nature makes the “rainfall swath” subject to the tiniest changes in positioning. Thus, NOAA warns that parts of the state, including New Orleans, likely sit on the “wet side” of the storm:

Phil Grigsby, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Slidell, says a southerly wind flow accompanied by moisture pumping up from the Gulf of Mexico will situate the New Orleans area and Southeast Louisiana on the “wet side” of Harvey. Along with this wet southerly wind, a strong area of low pressure is projected to cause a “lift” effect that will spur quick-forming clouds stuffed with rain over southern Louisiana.

In sum, the potential deluge sitting on the Texas-based storm’s eastern shoulder could arrive as “repeated rounds of rain,” summoned by onshore southerly winds continually blowing across New Orleans.

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