Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Midweek Update...A Harvey Welcome

It's not every day a celebrity makes it to our neck of the woods. But, Harvey is about to make an appearance to our great state albeit uninvited. Any one planning on rolling out the red carpet? I didn't think so.

After pummeling the Houston/Galveston regions with unprecedented rainfall totals over a 4-5 day period, Harvey is on the move after making yet another landfall. So far, the models have handled Harvey's trek fairly well. I have been impressed. The rainfall forecasts, although quite bullish earlier in the week, still underachieved in some places with its 30-40" totals. A handful of locations saw 40-50", even a little over 50" in at least one location of the Houston area.

I was hoping that the remnants of Harvey would get moving pretty quickly by the time it reaches our region. I am still hopeful. But, precipitation forecasts are going up for the region.

I had to wait till today to separate out any rainfall totals that were expected for the first part of the week and not combine them with the remnants of Harvey's totals coming up for the first part of our holiday weekend.

Now, I am starting to see a clearer picture, although the numbers are still aggressive. However, I downloaded a 3-day precipitation amounts map from one of the top analogs for this kind of weather setup and found an interesting parallel...

This is from September 20-22, 1979:

Low pressure formed just north of another 'H' tropical system that languished in the Gulf, picked up the remnants of Henri, and squeezed out a bunch of moisture over our region, to the tune of 3-6" nearly statewide.

Here in Louisville, our 3-day total was 5.41", Lexington at 5.27". Amounts of 4-6" were quite common in central and eastern KY, with a least 2 deaths attributed to the event.

I would not be surprised if we see similar totals related to this upcoming event. However, keep in mind, the most rainfall should be realized just to the north and northwest of the low pressure center (of Harvey). Just like earlier this summer, isolated tornadoes can spin up with these former tropical entities in addition to the heavy rainfall.

In conclusion, 3-6" looks possible for many areas, especially along the storm's track and again just to the north/northwest. Otherwise, 2-4" looks like a good bet for the rest of us.


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