HARVEY seaborne and eastbound but not strengthening
Tuesday 29th August 2017
Tropical storm HARVEY returned to sea last night and made its maximum distance about 100 miles due south of Houston. The storm is now heading east, although still with no sense of urgency at little more than a brisk walking pace. HARVEY is in no rush unfortunately. The storm itself is not particularly vigorous and a welcome inrush of dry air will ensure that it doesn't develop further but as we all know, this has become a deadly efficient waterwheel drawing in moisture across its 150 mile windfield and decanting it in rainbands over southern Texas. The current hurricane severity index rating of 3 (1 for size and 2 for intensity) is also likely to be its peak. That's a top whack of 45 knots. Ok, that would blow your hat off but is unlikely to bother anyone offshore. The expected landfall tomorrow changes by the hour. The first report I checked this morning was for Port Arthur and the latest was for Vermilion Bay. For the time being, catastrophic flooding is now taking place in the Beaumont – Port Arthur area and torrential rain with flooding risks can now be expected along all stops towards New Orleans. Yes, that's New Orleans, Louisiana.
Disturbance Thirty One was originally set to head seaward before developing however that may change now. Strong south-westerly wind shear is losing its grip as the system tracks north east, hugging the coast of South Carolina. Some intensification could take place before it slips away from the Carolinas, perhaps even tropical storm strength, and a weakening steering current may mean that this remains close to the eastern seaboard. Despite being short of tropical storm strength, this already has a hurricane severity index rating of 2 out of a possible 50 points (1 for size and 1 for intensity) with a predicted peak of 9 (6 for size and 3 for intensity) but it is still hoped that this will be after peeling away from the coast.
Disturbance Thirty Six is about a day's steaming west of the Cape Verde Islands headed west-nor'west at 18 knots but is expected to return to a westerly heading where conditions for development may be favourable as it approaches the Caribbean in about a week.
Disturbance Thirty Four is passing over Haiti, moving west at 23 knots. An excessive groundspeed and south-westerly wind shear should prevent development, insh'allah.
Stand by for more rain for Texas and Louisiana and a weather watch for the Carolinas.