The outlook for Tropical Storm Harvey is decidedly more complicated this morning.
The bad news is that Harvey is intensifying rapidly and likely to be a hurricane prior to landfall. The good news for us (sorry about our neighbors to the south) is that landfall is expected to be on the central Texas Coast near Corpus Christi. Tropical Storm Warning and Storm Surge Watches are in effect for Galveston County. Hurricane Warnings are in effect from Port Mansfield to Matagorda. Based upon trends today, that could be extended farther north.
The main problems we are facing with this is that steering currents are weak, thereby offering many possibilities for further movement from stalling near the coast, to drifting around over South Texas to drifting east or northeast toward the Houston-Galveston areas. Every one of these scenarios would bring different impacts locally. Also upper-level conditions will be favoring intensification through the next 48-hours.
The bottom line: there is a good chance we will see torrential rains ... perhaps lingering into Monday or Tuesday if the storm drifts in our direction and heavy rains if it heads more over South Texas, we should have tropical storm winds or wind gusts from tomorrow night into Saturday or Sunday, and high tides, though the extent of these will be dependent upon the track and intensity of the storm as well as how long and where it lingers.
Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out since we will be in the north and northeast quadrant of this system. A good guess might be somewhat similar to what we saw in Hurricane Claudette in July, 2003, but again that is only a guess and people need to pay attention to the latest local statements and updates from the National Hurricane Center.
Since we continue to have so many unknowns, the best thing is to be prepared for most contingencies and hope for the best. I will continue to provide updates as well as this situation unfolds.