Harvey still has not slowed down, and the initial estimate is 325/9 kt. Based on the forecast track, Harvey is expected to make landfall along the middle Texas coast tonight. After that, the track models insist that the hurricane will slow down considerably during the next 24 hours, and it is likely to move very little between 36 and 120 hours. In fact, there has been a somewhat notable change in the guidance, with very few of the models showing Harvey lifting out toward the northeast by the end of the 5-day forecast period. As a result, the NHC track forecast has been pulled back a bit and keeps Harvey near or just inland of the Texas coast through the middle of next week. This slow motion only exacerbates the heavy rainfall and flooding threat across southern and southeastern Texas.
Harvey may continue to strengthen during the 6-12 hours it has before landfall, but regardless it is expected to make landfall at major hurricane strength. Gradual weakening is anticipated after the center moves inland, but Harvey’s slow motion will keep a significant portion of its circulation over water, which may slow the weakening rate. As a result, the NHC intensity forecast leans closer to the global model guidance instead of the statistical-dynamical guidance, which seems to weaken Harvey too fast. Harvey could maintain tropical storm strength for the entire 5-day forecast period due to its proximity to the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.
Below is the new projected path of Harvey. For days it has been said that the Hurricane would traverse the coast of Texas, turning along the coastal merger with the Gulf, and moving eastward toward New Orleans.
The above is some of the satellite data in real time on the afternoon of Friday 25th August 2017. These are the current bullet points.
1. Harvey will make landfall tonight, bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind hazards to portions of the Texas coast. Tropical-storm-force winds have moved onshore in portions of the warning areas and conditions will continue to deteriorate as the eye of Harvey approaches the middle Texas coast tonight.
2. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for much of the Texas coast. Life-threatening storm surge flooding could reach heights of 6 to 12 feet above ground level at the coast between the north entrance of the Padre Island National Seashore and Sargent. For a depiction of areas at risk, see the Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic at hurricanes.gov. Due to the slow motion of Harvey and a prolonged period of onshore flow, water levels will remain elevated for several days.
3. Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding is expected across the middle and upper Texas coast from heavy rainfall of 15 to 30 inches, with isolated amounts as high as 40 inches, through Wednesday. Please refer to products from your local National Weather Service office and the NOAA Weather Prediction Center for more information on the flooding hazard.
4. There is a very real reason that this Hurricane has become an engine, sitting still, dumping what, if continued, will spawn record devastation. This hesitant slow motion Extreme Weather tracking continues sucking water out of the Gulf of Mexico, and may well become among the most historic storms of our era. Time will tell, if it is held in place, freed to continue the prognasticated pathways of recent days, or in which direction it is steered. The Radar returns are being compiled, the evidence is overwhelming, NEXRAD is online and hard at it…!
More from the Radar aspects of the visuals of Harvey to come. Stay tuned to see the developments as they are formatted.
Crew out… 25th August 2017