Cooler and drier conditions have been a welcome balm for those recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. Even better, despite three active hurricanes in the Tropical Atlantic Basin, none are expected to threaten the local area in any significant manner. A high pressure ridge building from the northeast through Texas should keep sunny skies and low humidity levels around through the weekend and into next week.
This doesn’t mean that there will be no impacts at all. While brisk northeast winds would stir up some surf and waves along area beaches, there is no doubt that Hurricane Katia to the south of us and Hurricane Irma to our east will enhance both tide levels, wave heights and the existence of rip tides along the coast. Currently, at Pier 21, tide levels are running a little more than foot higher than would normally be expected.
As this morning’s marine weather discussion from the National Weather Service states “these elevated winds will also result in seas 3-5 feet nearshore and 4-6 feet offshore with strong rip currents possible at times along Gulf-facing beaches. Caution or advisory flags will likely be needed through the weekend…”
At the present time, Katia is producing hurricane force winds to the south-southwest of Galveston and current projections show tropical storm force winds will definitely reach the far eastern Gulf in a couple of days, with a good likelihood that hurricane force winds will as well.
While none of this should spoil what will be a few days of near ideal weather locally, it will mean that those swimming or playing in the surf should exercise some caution and heed warning flags and that fisherman venturing out in the Gulf should be prepared for some robust wave action.