Harvey poses potentially epic flood threat

Hurricane forecasters are notoriously cautious.  There is significant uncertainty even 48 hours in advance of a potential tropical cyclone landfall. But the trends are clear for Tropical Storm Harvey. I am increasingly concerned about a substantial, potentially epic flood event this weekend in east Texas.

Favorable environment

Harvey is moving into a very favorable environment for intensification. Low wind shear and very warm water sin the Gulf of Mexico could cause Harvey to undergo what we call “rapid intensification cycles” in the next 48 hours before a likely landfall.

Texas bound?

It’s still too early to say precisely where Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey will land. Right now the smart money favors the Texas coast. But steering currents affecting Harvey grow weaker with time. The latest models runs favor a Texas-sized storm making landfall somewhere along the Texas coast Friday.

tropical tidbits

Stalled storm?

It’s a worst-case scenario for flood forecasters. A massive juiced-up tropical cyclone stalling near the coast. Many of the latest model trends suggest that may happen with Harvey. A stalled or looping storm near the coast that still has active moisture feeder bands from over the Gulf could produce prolific rainfall totals (well?) over 20″ in some areas.

A few of the more aggressive models are cranking out unreal rainfall totals close to 50 inches. That would be a major weather and humanitarian disaster in a city like Houston.

Houston flood concerns

Houston is a flood prone city. Tropical Storm Allison proved that.

Here’s why forecasters and residents in Houston are concerned about the flood potential from Harvey.

Harvey is about to dominate coverage on your favorite cable news channel.

Stay tuned.