28 August 2017

Tropical Storm Harvey moving back over water, new wave emerging from Africa

Since Sunday, Harvey has barely moved; in fact it has actually drifted back toward the south... back toward the warm Gulf water.  As of Monday morning, the center is indeed over water again... and Harvey has incredibly maintained tropical storm status continuously since making landfall on Friday night.

However, something that is sparing the hardest-hit areas for now is the storm's circulation is wrapping in drier air from the west which is greatly diminishing rainband development.

Models are in agreement that Harvey will re-intensify slightly over the Gulf of Mexico during the next couple of days before making another landfall on eastern Texas on Wednesday morning.  Given the current structure and dry air intrusion, it is very unlikely that Harvey will regain hurricane status... but the threat of heavy rain and additional flooding lingers.

The Houston area could receive at least another 20 inches of rain, on top of the 25-30 inches that has already fallen there. The flood risk will also migrate eastward into Louisiana this week. As the National Weather Service stated on Sunday morning, "This event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced."

The tropical disturbance I've been discussing for the past couple of weeks that approached south Florida last week is finally moving along, and may also finally become a named storm as it heads for the Carolinas.  My update on what may become Tropical Storm Irma will be on the Capital Weather Gang blog later today, and I'll have a separate post on that... stay tuned.

Much further east, a new healthy tropical wave has just exited the African coast — model guidance indicates that there is a good chance it will become the next named storm later this week (Irma if the Carolinas low doesn’t get it first, or Jose if it does).

Over the past 50 years, the average date for formation of the ninth named storm is September 30, and the tenth is October 14.  In terms of Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE, the season is now at 97 percent of average for this date.

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