of early afternoon on Saturday Harvey was about to be downgraded to a
strong tropical storm after slamming into the Texas coast as a
Category 4 monster hurricane packing 130 mph sustained winds.
Residents along the coast are just now starting to assess the initial
damage from this first major blow. However, the big rain event that
is Harvey is just now getting started.
to the National Hurricane Center, the storm’s forward speed has now
slowed down to about 2 miles per hour in a north-bound direction.
Meanwhile, its shield of encircling rains is expanding to cover most
of eastern Texas. These rains are very intense — producing
accumulations of more than 1 inch per hour in many locations. And
with Harvey stalling out, such heavy rains are expected to persist
over basically the same region and at a similar high intensity for at
least the next four days. After that time, Harvey is expected to
persist and rains of lighter, but still flood-producing force, may
continue to fall over parts of Texas for up to five more days.
has already dumped nearly 15 inches of rain on some locations.
Despite this fact, NOAA is still predicting more than 20 inches of
additional rain. Some models are indicating that final totals could
range from 40-60 inches in some locations after a 6-10 day rain
event. Image source:NOAA.)
worth noting that though up
to 15 inches of rain have already fallen from Harvey,
the longer range models still show in excess of another 20 inches
coming from the storm over the next week. Many models indicate that
more than 40 inches of rain could fall in total. And some of our best
models yesterday indicated a potential for up to 60 inches in some
locations by the time all is said and done.
other words, this storm is far from over. The main event, in which
Harvey may ultimately produce historic rainfall totals, is just
getting ramped up. So now is not the time to relax our guard.