Folks from Corpus Christi to Houston are expected to be deluged by Hurricane Harvey as it makes landfall Friday evening, reports the National Hurricane Center via the National Weather Service (NWS) Thursday.
The slow moving storm began to organize rapidly in the overnight hours Wednesday, and will likely arrive at the Texas coast as a Category 3 storm with winds of up to 111 mph. It’s expected to make landfall between Aransas Bay and Copano Bay just north of Corpus Christi said a NWS meteorlogist in a phone interview today.
If it maintains its strength, Harvey will be the first major tropical weather system to strike the Texas coast since 2005. Current models show the storm making landfall in the Coastal Bend and moving northwestward into the Texas Hill Country before doubling back towards the Gulf of Mexico near Matagorda Bay.
Harvey is expected to remain a Category 1 storm as it begins moving inland, the NWS meteorologist said. “(It) looks like it’s going to be approaching the coastline 8 p.m. on a Friday night. It should be just inland… 8 o’clock in the morning on Saturday,” he said.
The storm could dump in excess of 15 inches of rain on the already beleaguered Houston region, which saw torrential flooding earlier this month. An additional 15 inches or more of rain would cause “a historic flood,” the meteorologist said.
Hurricane warnings are currently in effect for the following counties: Bee, Goliad, Jim Wells, Live Oak and Victoria.
Additionally, the following counties are under a hurricane warning and a storm surge warning: Aransas, Calhoun, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio.
Storm surge will potentially rise to 7 feet above ground level, the NWS reports. The surge will cause significant damage to structures along Texas’ barrier islands.
This morning, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott activated the State Operations Center and declared a state of disaster for 30 counties. “Preemptively declaring a state of disaster will allow Texas to quickly deploy resources for the emergency response effort in anticipation of the storm’s hazardous conditions,” Abbott said via a statement.
For all my Oppo friends in the Houston/Galveston and the Coastal Bend regions, please stay safe. Please evacuate. Get out of the path of this storm. It’s looking like it’s going to cause an incredible amount of mayhem and damage.