Hurricane as Rain Bomb — Rapidly Intensifying Harvey Threatens to Dump 20-35+ Inches on Texas

A hurricane moving over the much warmer than normal waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico is expected to rapidly strengthen to major status with 125 mph sustained winds over the next 12 hours before making landfall. Such rapid intensification brings with it the risk of severe storm surge flooding and damaging winds along the U.S. Gulf Coast. However, one of the most worrying features of this system is that it is incredibly moisture rich and new models now show a potential that the storm will dump as much as 20-35+ inches of rain across parts of Texas as the storm stalls over the region for 5-6 days.

(Present model guidance for Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall totals show a significant flooding potential for Texas. Note that maximum rainfall potential in this model is 40.6 inches.)

By late afternoon on Thursday, Harvey was a minor hurricane packing 85 mile per hour winds with a minimum central pressure of 976 mb and moving through the Central Gulf of Mexico on a path toward Texas. The storm was about 305 miles to the southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas and was moving toward the northwest at about 10 miles per hour. A curve toward the north is expected in the next 12-24 hours. Such a track would bring the storm adjacent to the Texas coast by some time late Friday or early Saturday.

As the storm moves north and west, it is expected to tap the warmer than normal waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the range of 87 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit and rapidly intensify into a major hurricane packing 125 mile per hour or higher winds.

(Rapidly intensifying Harvey approaches the Texas coast on Thursday. Image source: The National Hurricane Center.)

This is presently a very dangerous situation with the National Hurricane Center warning, as of the 4 PM CDT advisory that the storm is still expected to ‘rapidly intensify.’ And that peak intensity estimates could be conservative at this time. The storm will then bring 6-12 foot or higher surges to parts of the Texas Coast before moving slowly inland.

We should point out that some of the model guidance from earlier in the day predicted a very intense storm. This morning’s GFS run showed a 938 mb minimum central pressure just before the eye wall landfall late Friday. Such pressures are more consistent with a category four storm with maximum sustained winds in the range of 130 to 156 mph. This afternoon’s intensity guidance from GFS has backed off a little bit to 948 mb — which is more in the range of a strong Category 3 storm which jibes with the most recent NHS predicted intensity of 125 mph.

(Harvey may be stronger than even current NHC guidance indicates. GFS models from earlier this morning showed a 938 mb storm by late Friday. Intensity in the models has subsequently backed off to 948 mb — which is equivalent to the strong category 3 strong that the National Hurricane Center now predicts. Image source: Tropical Tidbits.)

As the eyewall reforms and the storm’s intensification rate varies, we’ll tend to end up with different peak intensity forecasts. In any case, we are looking at a major hurricane producing serious impacts for Texas and the U.S. Gulf Coast over multiple days.

Present model guidance further predicts that Harvey will slow down and then stall over southeastern Texas after making landfall — remaining basically stationary near the coast until Wednesday. As it hovers over this region, the storm will pull warm, moist air in over Eastern Texas while maintaining tropical storm intensity, generating a 5 to 6 day long severe flood event. In some scenarios, the storm may partially re-emerge over the Gulf and restrengthen. By Thursday, Harvey is expected to be picked up by a frontal system dipping in over the Central U.S. Exiting the state as it moves north and east.

(Harvey’s associated thunderstorms boil with hot intensity in this GOES satellite picture. Watch an animation of the massive storms swirling around Harvey here.)

Such a long-term stall is expected to bring significant torrential flooding rains over parts of Southeastern Texas. With averages of 17-32 inches over a wide swath and as much as 35+ inches in isolated locales. It’s worth noting that with Harvey’s top intensity continuing to trend toward major hurricane status, with a human-warmed atmosphere now capable of producing much more intense rainfall events, and with the storm expected to rain out over such a long period, some of the ultimate rainfall totals could be historic.

From the National Hurricane Center:

“The system is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of a prolonged period of heavy rain and flooding across portions of Texas, southwest Louisiana, and northeastern Mexico into early next week.”

(UPDATES TO FOLLOW)

Links:

The National Hurricane Center

Tropical Tidbits

Pivotal Weather

The Capital Weather Gang

Hat tip to Bostonblurp

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79 Comments

  1. PlazaRed

     /  August 24, 2017

    This interesting, a hurricane that came out of a depleted storm and not many people thought it would. Those waters in the Gulf are like fuel to a fire when anything comes along to feed off them.
    Thank you for the timely post and possible updates to come.
    Sure makes you think want might be coming along in the future, this hurricane its now thought might just get to a cat 4!:-

    Reply
  2. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 24, 2017

    Check out how this massive fire complex in Siberia is affecting wind currents and pushing the cloud cover away from it.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2017-08-23/6-N64.16714-E120.27848

    Reply
  3. PlazaRed

     /  August 24, 2017

    For anybody who is not familiar with hurricane winds and their damage effect, I copied this from WU concerning cat 3 and cat 4 hurricane conditions and damage expectancy’s.

    Looks like a cat 3 or 4 at landfall. For those unfamiliar, here’s a recap of what to expect:

    Cat 3
    Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

    Cat 4
    Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

    Reply
    • wpNSAlito

       /  August 24, 2017

      Water is such a great component of a hurricane’s damage. Beyond just salt-water storm surge, rain streamers from a Cat1 that park over a narrow area can soak the ground, leaving otherwise wind-resistant trees less stable. Furthermore, property loss from the flooding tends to have much less insurance coverage (if any) than loss from high wind.

      Reply
  4. bostonblorp

     /  August 24, 2017

    Ouch.. not sure the provenance of this image but I assume it’s not an invention.

    And I agree with PlazaRed, this thing went from being a major nuisance to “evacuate the coast” in about 24 hours. The models would seem to be in need of some updating after this thing.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIA5WFXUIAAS7gR.jpg:large

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  August 24, 2017

      It probably gets worse if the hurricane not only stalls over the coastal area dumping up to 30 inches of rain along with unimaginable wind damages but it then re-enters the gulf and intensifies before moving east!
      This is what is being postulated by some hurricane models at the moment.

      This kind of a scenario would be beyond comprehension to most people who have never experienced a major hurricane, or worked in serious meteorology.

      The immediate advice to anybody close to the coastal areas of Texas should be to get as far north as they can, even if things don’t get very bad at least they will be safe and know it.
      Hurricanes are not the kind of things you want to stand and watch, they are seriously dangerous!

      Reply
      • bostonblorp

         /  August 24, 2017

        Absolutely on point with your warning. It’s the curse of normalcy bias. I went through Hurricane Hugo as a child and remember the roof creaking, the air literally screaming outside. The dead silence of the eye, seeing stars. Little flecks of ground-up leaf splattered against the inside walls where they had found a tiny gap in the closed louvers. Afterwards it looked like a fire had ravaged the land. Not a leaf on a tree, just the bare topography of what was a subtropical rainforest. Then the looting, the military, the curfews.

        Reply
        • PlazaRed

           /  August 24, 2017

          What we might be looking at here is a hurricane which is virtually stationary over the coast, hence it continues to gather energy from the sea while dumping massive amounts of rainfall onto the land for quite a distance from the coast.
          Added to the above the winds may be at hurricane force or near for several days not just a few hours, so there is plenty of time to achieve complete analysation of anything which is not very well built, along with endless damage also to the coastline.
          Even if this storm only remains at the cat 1 level it will be going on without interruption for days on end over the edge of a massive area of land.
          I have never personally heard of anything like this before, it might be a first in recent history. I might add that I am gravely concerned for the safety of the population and the effects on the coastline.
          Tropical Tidbits will have a lot to say about the possibility’s over the next day or so.

          Not wanting to be a prophet of doom but this kind of event may be unknown in recent US hurricane history and may rival the double coastal strikes of hurricane Andrew about 25 years ago today

      • wili

         /  August 24, 2017

        PR wrote: “This is what is being postulated by some hurricane models at the moment.”

        I believe those include the European models, which have been the most accurate in predicting some recent major hurricanes, including Sandy, iirc.

        Reply
        • Re: updating models because the models did not see the intensification of Harvey.
          Of course with the jet streams out of whack, weather will become more unpredictable on general principles. Additionally the possibility of a stationary storm seems to fall out of the reality of more slowly moving jet streams. Another basic prediction of climate change models: more variability in weather. Altogether it looks to me that apparent progress in modeling will itself take a hit from climate change.

        • Spike

           /  August 25, 2017

  5. coloradobob

     /  August 24, 2017
    Reply
  6. bostonblorp

     /  August 24, 2017

    Harvey has maxed out the preciptable-water scale. “~3.5″ of water in the atmospheric column is about as high as you’ll ever see it on planet earth.”

    Reply
  7. Jeremy in Wales

     /  August 24, 2017

    The wettest place in Wales in 2016 – Capel Curig surrounded by mountains 110 inches of rain in 2016 and my village 36 inches of rain in last 12 months and I think that is wet – 20-30 inches in a few days, bleedin heck, think they will need an ark!

    Reply
  8. wili

     /  August 24, 2017

    Points from a couple of sources collected by sig at asif:

    ”Latest (12Z) Euro model rapidly intensifies Hurricane #Harvey, makes landfall, takes it back to sea, rapidly intensifies again to Houston.”

    “To be honest, this would be a really, really bad thing for New Orleans, which would get the “dirty” side of the second landfall. Heavy rain.”

    “Remember, no power = no AC [Air Conditioning] #Harvey”

    “Corpus Christi buses now running free for anyone who wishes to be evacuated to San Antonio. Folks – this is as real as it gets #Harvey”

    “FEMA has pre-positioned 250,000 meals, 77,000 liters of water and 4,000 tarps ahead of landfall by #Harvey”

    “It won’t be enough.”

    “Potential flood disaster: Like GFS, European model forecasts large area 17-32″ of rain thru Wed in eastern Texas. wapo.st/2w0UhBc “

    Reply
    • wili

       /  August 24, 2017

      oops, forgot about the two link thing. Here are a couple sources, thanks to sig at asif:

      ”Latest (12Z) Euro model rapidly intensifies Hurricane #Harvey, makes landfall, takes it back to sea, rapidly intensifies again to Houston.”

      “To be honest, this would be a really, really bad thing for New Orleans, which would get the “dirty” side of the second landfall. Heavy rain.”

      “Remember, no power = no AC [Air Conditioning] #Harvey”

      “Corpus Christi buses now running free for anyone who wishes to be evacuated to San Antonio. Folks – this is as real as it gets #Harvey”

      “FEMA has pre-positioned 250,000 meals, 77,000 liters of water and 4,000 tarps ahead of landfall by #Harvey”

      ———“It won’t be enough.”—–

      Reply
  9. Syd Bridges

     /  August 24, 2017

    Thank you, Robert, for the heads up on this hurricane. I can only hope that it is not as bad as predicted. But the extreme warmth does not bode well.

    I live at about 7800 feet in northern Colorado on the Front Range. Two weeks ago today, we had a hailstorm, with over one inch hailstones. I am 67, and I had never seen anything like it. It stopped after about fifteen minutes. We lost about fifty tents. Many of them were so shredded that it looked like an A-10 Warthog had strafed them with its Gattling gun. I had seen tents before that had been destroyed by hail, but nothing like this damage. I was about to head out to put a tarpaulin over one of the tents when the hail started. When I saw the size of the hailstones, I decided to stay indoors, and I watched the hail in disbelief. The roads turned white and the noise was tremendous. I could hardly hear the thunder over the noise of the impacting hail on the building roof. Several cars were badly damaged and skylights were broken. I wonder what height the thunder heads reached to create hail of that size.

    Needless to say, there was no point in putting a tarpaulin over that tent after the storm.

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  August 24, 2017

      This is a good webpage for what is happening in the world of thunder storms and lightning.
      You can drag it around to different parts of the world. At the moment the storms around the southern US coasts are very prominent. Also there has been a very big storm complex over southern Germany into Austria for the last few hours, no doubt lots of rain damage there at the very least.
      Amazing just how many storms are going on right now, you need to leave the page on for a while to see the accumulation of strikes in real time.
      Over the next few days the hurricane in the Gulf will be interesting to monitor.

      http://en.blitzortung.org/live_dynamic_maps.php?map=33

      Reply
    • It’s trending worse and worse…

      Reply
    • Syd, I’m here in the Front Range at 6,100 ft. We got that hail here as well. “Never seen anything like it”… New roofs, 3 new windows on the west side, new garage door after a 15-minute hailstorm, and we weren’t the worst hit.

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  August 25, 2017

      Syd a recent study showed an increased risk of large hail in the US – I was discussing it on Twitter with someone recently as we had both noted how many recent reports have been coming in of hail of extraordinary size in the US and Europe.

      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n7/full/nclimate3321.html?foxtrotcallback=true

      Reply
  10. eleggua

     /  August 24, 2017

    ‘Russian tanker sails through Arctic without icebreaker for first time ‘
    24 August 2017

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/24/russian-tanker-sails-arctic-without-icebreaker-first-time

    “A Russian tanker has travelled through the northern sea route in record speed and without an icebreaker escort for the first time, highlighting how climate change is opening up the high Arctic.

    The $300m Christophe de Margerie carried a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in 19 days, about 30% quicker than the conventional southern shipping route through the Suez Canal….”

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  August 25, 2017

      “The $300m Christophe de Margerie carried a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in 19 days, about 30% quicker than the conventional southern shipping route through the Suez Canal.

      The tanker was built to take advantage of the diminishing Arctic sea ice and deliver gas from a new $27m facility on the Yamal Peninsula, the biggest Arctic LNG project so far which has been championed by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.”

      “Environmentalists have expressed concern over the risks of increased ship traffic in the pristine Arctic but Sovcomflot stressed the tanker’s green credentials. As well as using conventional fuel, the Christophe de Margerie can be powered by the LNG it is transporting, reducing its sulphur oxide emissions by 90% and nitrous oxide emissions by 80% when powered this way. “This is a significant factor in a fragile ecosystem,” said Spears.

      The northern sea route between Siberia and the Pacific is still closed to conventional shipping for much of the year. But the Christophe de Margerie, the first of 15 such tankers expected to be built, extends the navigation window for the northern sea route from four months with an expensive icebreaker to all year round in a westerly direction.

      In the route’s busiest year so far, 2013, there were only 15 international crossings but the Russian government predicts that cargo along this route will grow tenfold by 2020. This link with the Pacific reduces its need to sell gas through pipelines to Europe.”

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  August 25, 2017

        ‘A Massive Natural Gas Plant Rises In The Arctic’
        2016-06-02

        https://www.worldcrunch.com/business-finance/a-massive-natural-gas-plant-rises-in-the-arctic

        “…Total is busy securing its future success with this spectacular construction site. The confirmed reserves of this gas field on the banks of the Ob estuary in the Yamal Peninsula are immense. According to Total’s CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, the field is “a gigantic gas sponge.” Within the next three or four years, this deposit will produce 642.8 million gallons and 16.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas each year. That is the equivalent of two-thirds of France’s annual consumption….

        With a budget of $27 billion, Yamal LNG is one of the largest investments in the entire oil industry. For Total and its partners, this project comes with numerous challenges: technological, financial, and economic….

        Glaciers have melted due to global warming, opening up the Northern trade route during the summer months. By arriving from the east via the Bering Strait, the ships can avoid the long journey of traveling through the Suez Canal to Asia. This prompted Total and its partners to order 15 icebreaking tankers to transport liquefied natural gas — another first. It was also necessary to construct a harbor by dredging the shallow Ob estuary and building jetties.

        It is difficult to imagine today that in 2011, this area was virtually terra incognita. While the factory’s production in Yamal does not start until the third trimester of 2017, the French construction company Vinci is currently finished with the construction of the four gigantic tanks destined to store liquefied gas. At 262.5 feet long and 147.6 feet tall, these juggernauts are “the biggest in the world,” confirms Sergey Lashugin….

        “When the sanctions happened in July 2014, we had advanced well financially with standard contracts with American banks and American lawyers. But we had to start over again from scratch,” recalls Jacques de Boisséson. The Washington sanctions, decided upon in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, did not affect the project directly because gas was not included — although the French company’s Russian partner, Novatek, was targeted, as one of its main shareholders, Gennady Timchenko, was close to Vladimir Putin.

        American individuals and companies could not participate in the project, and the finances could not be contracted in dollars. The leaders of Yamal LNG were facing a long, hard battle. They solicited Russian, Chinese, and European banks and began prolonged and complex negotiations.

        The negotiations had ended, but the European banks still remained “extremely prudent” and decided not to offer support. The Russian Welfare Bank provided $2.4 billion and Russian banks Sberbank and Gazprombank contributed $4 billion. At the end of April, Yamal LNG announced that it had obtained $12 billion from the Chinese banks, Export-Import Bank of China and China Development Bank. The approximate balance of $12 billion was provided by Novatek, Total, and CNPC who were joined in late March by the Chinese Silk Road Fund….”

        Reply
        • Yay! More gas fuel for the suicide machine.

        • Better not to build it at all. Bad move by China. They’d have done batter investing 12 billion in solar. I guess the only silver lining is — it’s not coal.

        • eleggua

           /  August 25, 2017

          “Bad move by China.”

          Maybe but perhaps a calculated move by China, recognizing that fossil fuel is doomed and they’ll have Russia etal on the hook to them for $12billion after the gas is turned off and the debt is still due.

          China has $12billion x 12billion to gamble on the geo-political game.
          We know China is getting into solar in a big, big way.
          https://robertscribbler.com/2017/08/23/china-built-24-billion-watts-of-solar-in-just-two-months-as-trump-attacks-renewables-and-defends-coal/

          Tough to gauge these geo-political moves from here. China’s reason for making the loan could be both, either or neither.

        • Possible. The demand picture for coal, gas and oil isn’t looking too great over the five year horizon. Projects like these would tend to lag due to demand slack. In general this size debt generally would benefit the lendee and not the lender. Can’t really see much geopolitical benefit from China lending such a large sum unless they’re looking at increasing nat gas imports.

          It does look like China is moving for an Obama-esque plan for carbon emissions cuts by shifting wholesale away from coal. This does include large nat gas investments on top of the ridiculously large solar growth we’ve seen lately.

        • eleggua

           /  August 26, 2017

          “In general this size debt generally would benefit the lendee and not the lender.”

          Yes, particularly in the short term. China plays the long, long game and plays it very well; hard to fathom the reasoning behind the loan; it’s certainly multi-faceted and complex.

  11. eleggua

     /  August 24, 2017

    ‘Interior secretary recommends Trump alter at least three national monuments, including Bears Ears’
    August 24, 2017

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/08/24/interior-secretary-recommends-trump-alter-a-handful-of-national-monuments-but-declines-to-reveal-which-ones/

    “In a report Zinke submitted to the White House, the secretary recommended reducing the size of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, as well as Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, according to multiple individuals briefed on the decision. President Bill Clinton declared the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante in 1996, while President Barack Obama designated the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears last year. Cascade-Siskiyou, which now encompasses more than 113,000 acres, was established by Clinton shortly before leaving office and expanded by Obama in January….”

    Reply
  12. wharf rat

     /  August 24, 2017

    Coastal Texans Concerned About Rising Sea Levels Amid Hurricane Threats
    By Harvey Rice | May 31, 2017

    …Sea levels are generally rising faster along the Texas Gulf Coast and the western Gulf than the average globally, according to a January study by NOAA.

    “The western Gulf is experiencing some of the highest rates of relative levels of sea-level rise in the country,” said NOAA oceanographer William Sweet, lead author of the study. “The ocean is not rising like water would in a bathtub.”

    Sea-level rise is making storm surges larger, said John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas state climatologist at Texas A&M University in College Station.

    “Compared to a storm that would have hit, say, 30 years ago, the additional storm surge we are talking about is on the order of … about 7 inches,” Nielsen-Gammon said….

    …Said Ojeda: “If a 200 mph hurricane hits this island (Galveston), there is not going to be (anything) left.”

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2017/05/31/452704.htm

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  August 25, 2017

      “Apart from sea-level rise, climate change is expected to cause hurricanes to be more intense and produce more rain, according to the NOAA.”

      Reply
  13. Bill H

     /  August 24, 2017

    These “sudden” extreme events certainly seem to be on the increase: I recall reading about a couple of such suddenly developing major cyclones in the Pacific in, I think, 2016. This is in complete contrast with the “traditional” pattern of a major even forming well out to sea, and then everyone waiting for maybe a week or more for it to strike land: Katrina was a good example. Sure they were devastating, but at least people had reasonable warning to board up their homes, and then prepare to evacuate in an orderly fashion if necessary, (though the appalling neglect by the Federal Govt led to a great many in New Orleans not being able to get out). Now it’s a case of “no dawdling, run for your lives”, even with FEMA up and running.

    I fear one result of all this will be the scapegoating of meteorologists and other scientists for the failure of their forecasting models – by morons with no scientific understanding at all like trump and ex-governor of Texas “let’s all pray for rain” perry: “Yeah, gubmint scientists all incompetent: warn us about global warming, yet can’t predict a major hurricane a few days out – let’s fire them all”.

    Reply
    • Bill H

       /  August 24, 2017

      As evidence of just how sudden this all is there’s absolutely nothing on the BBC website, which generally gives pretty good international coverage: especially for the USA. Both hurricanes Katrina and Ike were in the BBC news for many days prior to coming ashore.

      It’s probably also evidence of disaster fatigue in the face of so many weather extremes: Bangladesh was only mentioned in passing when a third of the country was submerged just a few days ago.

      Reply
  14. Dave McGinnis

     /  August 24, 2017

    There is a chance intensity will remain manageable as it is currently over a discarded warm-water ring from the Loop Current. Slightly cooler waters lie farther north. Times of high-high tide for the 25th-27th at Corpus Christie — 7pm, 8pm, 8pm. (They have a high-high and a low-high.) The problem is slack winds aloft so no steering current.

    Reply
    • Afternoon GFS guidance was 948 mb just prior to landfall — which has backed off a bit. NHS still expects rapid intensification to 125 mph and notes that it’s moving over very warm waters in the 12-24 hour timeframe.

      Reply
  15. Greg

     /  August 24, 2017

    Very timely. ‘The rain forecasts are truly ominous with some pockets in some models up to 40 inches. “Trying not to be dramatic, but I fear epic flood catastrophe,” tweeted Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society.’

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/08/24/rapidly-strengthening-harvey-forecast-to-slam-east-texas-as-major-hurricane-and-stall/?

    Reply
  16. PlazaRed

     /  August 24, 2017

    Just an historic rainfall note.
    I was in a very heavy storm on the southern coast of Spain in 1994. It rained about 10 inches in about 6 hours, so about 1.5 inches an hour, or 4 centimetres. This was in a very localised area.
    The devastation along river banks and adjoining fields was indescribable. Whole fields gone, boulders 3 feet or more across gone, roads gone, trees gone.
    This Gulf storm is a heavily moisture laden hurricane that is not going to move much for days and its over almost flat land.
    The conclusion must be that there will be a huge amount of flooding which will take a long time to subside.
    No matter how much I think about it, things look bad from every side of this storm.
    The authorities have to do everything they can to get people out of the danger areas.

    Late here now, hoping for the best when I sign back in a few hours from now?

    Reply
  17. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 24, 2017

    Thoughts go to those in this things path, stay safe. Save your family and yourself, stuff is replaceable.

    Amazing how quickly this spooled up in intensity in a short period of time.

    Reply
  18. Apneaman

     /  August 25, 2017

    Texas refineries face flooding, disruption threat from Hurricane Harvey
    -Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit Texas on Friday.

    -The Houston region’s oil refineries could be in danger.

    -It could take 18 to 36 months for refineries to return to full production capacity if they sustain 2 feet of flooding, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell said.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/hurricane-harvey-could-hurt-oil-production-long-after-it-hits-the-houston-area.html

    Reply
    • X miller

       /  August 25, 2017

      So there’s the reason for the spike in gas prices from Wed to Thurs.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  August 25, 2017

        ‘Harvey Sends Gasoline Surging as Texas Refineries Shut Down’

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-24/harvey-likely-to-be-first-hurricane-to-strike-texas-since-2008

        …Harvey has drifted from the southern Gulf of Mexico, regaining strength after passing over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula earlier this week. While its course has meant the storm isn’t shutting much oil and natural gas production in the Gulf, it’s set to hit a cluster of refineries that process almost 5 million barrels of oil a day.

        Gasoline futures in New York surged to the highest in four months in intraday trade, rising by as much as 4 percent to $1.7303 a gallon, and were at $1.7301 at 12:29 p.m. Singapore time. Oil pared a fourth weekly loss and traded at $47.75 a barrel….

        The Port of Corpus Christi closed for all vessels sailing in or out as part of its hurricane preparations, officials said in an e-mailed statement. The U.S. Coast Guard shut Houston-Galveston ports to inbound vessels, and energy companies are shutting fuel terminals….

        – Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc are among the energy explorers that have shut platforms in the Gulf of Mexico; ConocoPhillips and EOG Resources Inc. are among those that have halted drilling in Texas

        – Refiners including Valero Energy Corp. shut plants, forcing about 1 million barrels a day of crude and condensate capacity in Texas offline

        – Kinder Morgan Inc. declared force majeure at natural gas compressor stations; DCP Midstream LPshut gas capacity in south-central Texas; and Enbridge Inc. evacuated non-essential workers from some platforms

        – Soybean futures climbed Thursday as crops in Louisiana and Mississippi may be damaged; grain elevators including Corpus Christi Grain Co. suspended shipments

        – Rain could damage almost 200,000 cotton bales in region, said Chris Yaklin, general manager of Gulf Coast Cooperative

        – BNSF was halting traffic from Galveston Island late Thursday and holding Galveston-bound trains until further notice

        – Policyholder-owned State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. has the largest share in the market for home coverage in Texas, followed by Allstate Corp., Farmers Insurance and United Services Automobile Association, according to data compiled by A.M. Best Co.

        Reply
    • Fossil fuel infrastructure is pretty vulnerable to worsening climate impacts. Most is near the coast or adjacent to flood prone rivers. It’s generally very vulnerable to the kind of worsening storm and sea level rise impacts that we’ve been seeing recently.

      Reply
  19. Apneaman

     /  August 25, 2017

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    From the brains of scientists to your ears

    “Get your science on with the new podcast from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Our hosts take on technology, attacks on science, climate change, and more, as they channel the power of science to make the world a better place.”

    -Episode 14: Failing Science: The Trump Administration’s Six-Month Report Card
    August 15, 2017

    – Episode 13: Living with Rising Seas: Stories from Chronically Flooded Communities
    August 1, 2017

    -Episode 12: When Rising Seas Hit Home: What Coastal Communities Can Expect, and When to Expect It
    July 4, 2017

    More

    http://www.ucsusa.org/got-science-podcast

    Reply
  20. Greg

     /  August 25, 2017

    Bob Henson: “The long-range track outlook for Harvey is extremely unusual and very concerning. Steering currents are expected to collapse near Harvey this weekend, and the hurricane may spend several days moving very slowly near or just inland from the Texas coast. The 12Z Thursday GFS stalls Harvey inland within 100 miles of Corpus Christi from Saturday through Wednesday. Although Harvey would gradually weaken in such a scenario, it would continue to funnel huge amounts of moisture into the southeast half of Texas. Enormous rainfall totals would be a virtual certainty. The European model depicts a shorter stall, but even this solution keeps the center of Harvey near the central Texas coast for around 48 hours. Both the GFS and European models move Harvey slowly northeast along the Texas coast and through the Houston area, with the Euro taking Harvey or its remnants into Louisiana on Tuesday and the GFS on Thursday. Either scenario would push torrential rains into eastern Texas and parts of southern and western Louisiana.
    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/intensifying-harvey-track-hit-texas-major-hurricane

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  August 25, 2017

      also “Harvey could be an unusually prolific tornado producer along the central and upper Texas coast, given its expected very slow motion near the coastline. This location would maximize the tornado-supportive wind structure within Harvey’s rainbands, especially northeast of the center. Slow-moving Hurricane Beulah, which made landfall in far South Texas as a Category 3 storm in 1967, produced a total of 115 tornadoes—just behind the U.S. record of 118 tornadoes from Hurricane Ivan (2004).”

      Reply
    • Thanks for all the various posts here, Greg. Another very intense event appears to be in the offing. If the highest rainfall predictions emerge, this could be a Katrina-level event.

      Reply
  21. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2017

    Older Arctic Sea Ice Disappearing
    NASA Goddard 10.26.2016

    In this animation, where the ice cover almost looks gelatinous as it pulses through the seasons, cryospheric scientist Dr. Walt Meier of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center describes how the sea ice has undergone fundamental changes during the era of satellite measurements.

    Reply
  22. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2017

    ‘Watch 25 Years of Arctic Sea Ice Disappear in 1 Minute’
    climatecentraldotorg 12.15.2015

    This animation tracks the relative amount of ice of different ages from 1987 through early November 2015. The oldest ice is white; the youngest (seasonal) ice is dark blue. Key patterns are the export of ice from the Arctic through Fram Strait and the melting of old ice as it passes through the warm waters of the Beaufort Sea. In 1985, 20% of the Arctic ice pack was very old ice, but in March 2015, old ice only constituted 3% of the ice pack.

    Reply
  23. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2017

    ‘Old Arctic sea ice going down the drain ‘
    European Space Agency, ESA 6.15.2017

    An ‘ice arch’ in the Lincoln Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean, acts as a bridge, holding back the older thicker sea ice. This arch normally breaks up in July, but this year it has disintegrated much earlier, allowing a southward flowing current to quickly flush away significant amounts of old, thicker sea ice through Nares Strait.

    Nares Strait is a narrow channel of water that separates Greenland and Ellesmere Island in Canada. A significant amount of sea ice is pushed through this passage every summer and autumn. This year, however, the early collapse of the Lincoln sea arch, which normally hems in the ice until later, could mean that a greater proportion of the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is at risk of being lost.

    Ice transport through Nares Strait contributes to ice loss from the Arctic Basin, though typically this is less than 10% of the ice that is exported through Fram Strait to the east of Greenland.
    However, sea ice that is removed from the Lincoln Sea is some of the thickest and oldest ice in the Arctic. Consequently, Nares Strait ice export represents an important contribution to Arctic ice volume loss, and is critical to the survival of the perennial ice pack.

    Using images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission between the beginning of October 2016 and mid-May 2017, the animation shows large chunks or ‘floes’ of old ice effectively being ‘flushed down the drain’ at a considerable rate.

    The animation also indicates sustained periods ice being transported north–eastward along the coast of Ellesmere Island, feeding thick old ice into the Lincoln Sea. This contributes to an overall reduction in the volume of Arctic sea ice and raises concerns about how Nares Strait exports ice in what is forecasted to be a record summer ice volume minimum. The summer minimum is reached in September.

    Reply
  24. Greg

     /  August 25, 2017

    One really devastating model for Houston. (GFS ensemble mean precipitable water standardized anomaly values on the #TXwx coast on Saturday morning are nearly +5 sigma):

    Reply
  25. Greg

     /  August 25, 2017

    Max historical (1950+) rainfall from Tropical cyclones hitting the United States.

    Reply
  26. PlazaRed

     /  August 25, 2017

    2 am Saturday looks like the landfall time in Texas, this is probably about the worst landfall time with plenty of added darkness to take into account.
    Consider power cuts and chaos with 100 MPH+ winds and zero visibility?

    Reply
  27. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2017

    Space Station Camera Captures New Views of Hurricane Harvey
    NASA 8.24.2017

    This video includes views from The International Space Station recorded on August 24, 2017 at 6:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

    Reply
  28. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2017

    Anthony Farnell‏ @AnthonyFarnell 2h2 hours ago

    Eye wall replacement (EWR) underway in #Harvey where much larger outer eye becomes stronger than inner eye. Sign of an expanding wind field.

    Reply
  29. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2017

    ‘Global oceanic dead zones persisted for 50,000 years after end-Triassic extinction event’
    August 25, 2017

    https://phys.org/news/2017-08-global-oceanic-dead-zones-persisted.html

    Extremely low oxygen levels in Earth’s oceans could be responsible for extending the effects of a mass extinction that wiped out millions of species on Earth around 200 million years ago, according to a new study…

    It took about 50,000 years for ocean oxygen levels to return to what they were before the extinction event and it may have taken as long as 250,000 years for coral reefs around the globe to fully recover, according to the study…

    Anoxia has long been suspected to have played a role in the end-Triassic extinction, but the anoxia’s duration and severity were not known, according to the study’s authors. The new study, published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, quantifies the timing and extent of marine anoxia during and after the end-Triassic extinction, said Adam Jost, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT’s Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences department in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and lead author of the new study…

    Jost said their conclusions about end-Triassic anoxia fit into a larger picture emerging from recent research showing many similarities between the end-Triassic extinction and the most severe extinction on record, the end-Permian, which occurred about 52 million years before the end-Triassic extinction. Understanding these extinctions can help scientists better understand how species may react to future changes in the environment.

    “The end-Permian was much longer, and the recovery was much longer and the extinction more severe,” Jost said. “So in some ways, the end-Triassic is a mini end-Permian.””

    Reply
  30. PlazaRed

     /  August 25, 2017

    This is the position as of 6 pm GMT or about 1 pm US East coast time.
    The storm is running winds at about 115 MPH variable and heading very slowly towards the coast, its expected to make landfall during early Saturday.
    Anybody anywhere near the projected landfall should evacuate immediately.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/db0ab8d5b79fd7e60c6b06af265ed9c72491cf76f1eac07f7541dae5c89fa93c.jpg?w=800&h=500

    Reply
    • Video at Galveston. See joeywalker.9 about half way down. Riding out the storm on Galveston Beach is maybe not your best idea.

      Bands of rain and wind began to reach the Texas shoreline on Friday afternoon.
      Joey Walker, 25, works with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol and is riding out the storm from a house on Galveston Island. He posted video of near-white out conditions overlooking Stewart Beach.
      http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/25/us/hurricane-harvey/index.html

      Reply
  31. Steve Piper

     /  August 25, 2017

    The South Texas Project nuclear plant will basically be ground zero when Harvey comes ashore, was curious about its preparedness. Linked article has a nice summary of the particulars. Upshot is, it was designed to a pretty high tolerance level. Still worrisome.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/local/nuke-plant-could-close-south-texas-project-braces-for-strengthening-hurricane-harvey/IlBEvX9Z2rXeXruDeVG76J/

    Reply
  32. Hope you parse out the atmospheric circulation piece of this, Robert. The role of a slowing jet stream, which may be the most radical part of the climate disruption we are seeing now. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27032017/climate-change-global-warming-extreme-weather-jet-stream-michael-mann-penn-state

    Reply

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