[8/25/17] It’s the tropical storms you think are dead but come back to life that you need to be truly afraid of.
One such storm, Hurricane Harvey, is poised to pick up copious amounts of moisture from the bathtub warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before making a slow-speed collision with the low-lying Texas coast this weekend.
The storm is rapidly intensifying, and is expected to be a “major” hurricane at landfall — meaning it would be a Category 3 storm or greater. If this prediction verifies, then Harvey would be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, a record long stretch.
Like the meteorological equivalent of a White Walker from Game of Thrones, Harvey had previously been a named storm that dissipated as it crossed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula earlier this week.
The storm has the potential to drop colossal amounts of rain from Corpus Christi, Texas to Lafayette, Louisiana, with the flood-prone city of Houston within the threat zone. It has been steadily intensifying overnight and through the day on Thursday, forming an eye wall, where its fiercest winds and heaviest rains are found.
Rainfall totals could exceed 25 or even 30 inches in some places, since the storm is expected to meander along the Texas coast once it makes landfall, moving less than 500 miles from Friday through Monday morning. Some computer models even loop the storm back out over the Gulf of Mexico, only to make a second landfall in northeastern Texas or western Louisiana early next week.
Such a scenario, with a juiced up hurricane making landfall and stalling out, is the stuff of nightmares for flood forecasters, since the number one killer from tropical cyclones is inland flooding.