Monday, August 28, 2017

MikJournal Monday 08/28/2017...History-Making Hurricane Harvey

Good Monday to you. Unfortunately, it's not a good Monday for residents of the Houston/Galveston regions. Personally, I have family who live in the Houston area, so I am concerned for their safety, especially for my pregnant cousin.

Hurricane Harvey will go down in the record books as one of the costliest natural disasters on U.S. soil, perhaps one of the wettest Cat-4 hurricanes to strike the United States, and quite likely the name will be retired.

Interestingly, if you notice my Did You Know segment on the side of the blog, the same names of tropical systems are used every 6 years, unless they are deadly or costly then the name is retired from the list to avoid any sensitivities of those who were most affected.

That's why our 2017 list, when compared to the 2005 list, does not include Katrina, instead it is Katia. We have Don this year, not Dennis. Whitney is used on the list for 2017, not Wilma.

Yes, there was a Harvey on the list in 2005. But, it was a rather unimpressive tropical storm, primarily affecting the Bermuda region with wind gusts to 50 mph and about 5" rain.

Then, in 2011, Harvey attained only tropical storm status again, but this time a bit more vigorous. Satellite data suggested a peak intensity of about 60-65 mph at landfall near Dangriga, Belize. Affecting mainly Mexican interests and high terrain, the system rained itself out over the mountains, producing widespread flooding and mudslides.

Back to the present, Hurricane Harvey has produced a tremendous amount of rain for areas of southeast Texas. With little movement, bands of heavy rain continue to inundate the region. Forecasts out now are for storm totals to reach or exceed 50" in places. Hopefully, it won't be that bad, as radar data seems to indicate the heaviest of the bands have moved out of that area for now.

I have collected a few numbers and statistics out of the Houston area this morning...

Not only did Houston establish a single-day rainfall record for yesterday with 16.07" officially at the IAH airport, but it was the wettest day for any given day of the year on record.

Additionally, this is now the wettest August of all time and the wettest month ever, beating out June 2001, with Tropical Storm Allison's flooding rains. And there is still time to add to the monthly total of 32.68"

Since June 1, 46.16" has been recorded. This is most impressive as one considers that Houston's annual rainfall is 49.77".

Over the next few days, the remnants of Harvey will move up into our region. As of this writing, forecast amounts of 1-2" with local amounts exceeding 2" are expected. This should cause some rises in area creeks and streams, but overall flooding does not look to be a widespread issue. Nevertheless, stay tuned to your favored local media sites for the latest updates.

Turn around, don't drown. Be safe everyone.

MS

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