Hurricane Harvey is expected to strike the Texas coast just around 1 am CDT Saturday morning as a powerful category 4 storm packing winds of 130 mph or more. The National Weather Service warns that “life-threatening and devastating flooding expected near the coast due to heavy rainfall and storm surge.”. Areas from Corpus Christi to Houston will see flooding rains. Corpus, Port Aransas, and the surrounding areas will see 120+ mph winds.
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National Weather Service update 8-25-17 – 19:00 CDT: (for our complete Harvey coverage, visit our Harvey page)
Harvey was last reported at 27.8N, 96.8W moving northwest at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 131 mph. The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from NOAA and Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 941 mb (27.79 inches) and stable.
Where will Harvey make landfall
Harvey’s track has moved about 12 miles east from the last update and is now expected to make landfall just a few miles east of Lamar, Texas. Rockport and Fulton will now be spared from the strong side of the storm – the right side – but will still take a major hurricane head on. Even worse, the returning track as Harvey heads back to the Gulf, will come even closer to Lamar, Fulton, and Rockport.
After 48 hours onshore, Harvey is expected to return to the Gulf of Mexico (times as of 0400 CDT):
INIT 25/2100Z 27.5N 96.5W 110 KT 125 MPH
12H 26/0600Z 28.2N 97.0W 100 KT 115 MPH…INLAND
24H 26/1800Z 28.8N 97.5W 75 KT 85 MPH…INLAND
36H 27/0600Z 28.9N 97.8W 60 KT 70 MPH…INLAND
48H 27/1800Z 28.6N 97.8W 50 KT 60 MPH…INLAND
72H 28/1800Z 28.1N 96.9W 40 KT 45 MPH…INLAND
96H 29/1800Z 28.5N 96.0W 40 KT 45 MPH…OVER WATER
120H 30/1800Z 29.5N 95.5W 35 KT 40 MPH…INLAND
Strong Winds and Tons of Rain
Hurricane force winds will hit the coast as the storm makes landfall and tropical storm force winds are expected along most of southeast Texas. The rainfall potential of this storm is enormous as 30 inches of rain are expected along much of the Texas Gulf coast and areas just inland. Up to 40 inches of rain could fall in some areas.
Storm Surge Predictions
Storm surge watches and warnings have gone out along most of the Texas coastline.
- North Entrance Padre Island Natl Seashore to Sargent…6 to 12 ft
- Sargent to San Luis Pass…5 to 8 ft
- Port Mansfield to N Entrance Padre Island Natl Seashore…3 to 5 ft
- Jamaica Beach to High Island…2 to 4 ft
- Mouth of the Rio Grande to Port Mansfield…1 to 3 ft
- High Island to Morgan City…1 to 3 ft
Harvey Watches and Warnings
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Port Mansfield to High Island Texas
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Port Mansfield to Sargent Texas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* North of Sargent to High Island Texas
What are Category 3 and Category 4 Hurricanes
The storm categories come from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale designed to relay the magnitude of a storm’s impact.
Category 3 storms have maximum sustained winds of 110 to 130 mph and according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale:
These storms can cause some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings, particularly those of wood frame or manufactured materials with minor curtain wall failures. Buildings that lack a solid foundation, such as mobile homes, are usually destroyed, and gable-end roofs are peeled off. Manufactured homes usually sustain severe and irreparable damage. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures, while larger structures are struck by floating debris. A large number of trees are uprooted or snapped, isolating many areas. Additionally, terrain may be flooded well inland. Near-total to total power loss is likely for up to several weeks and water will likely also be lost or contaminated.
Category 4 storms have maximum sustained winds of 131 to 155 mph and:
produce more extensive curtainwall failures, with some complete structural failure on small residences. Heavy, irreparable damage and near complete destruction of gas station canopies and other wide span overhang type structures are common. Mobile and manufactured homes are often flattened. Most trees, except for the heartiest, are uprooted or snapped, isolating many areas. These storms cause extensive beach erosion, while terrain may be flooded far inland. Total and long-lived electrical and water losses are to be expected, possibly for many weeks.
What do the watches and warnings mean?
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.
A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons
located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.