Tropical Storm Harvey is moving offshore near Matagorda, Texas this morning and is expected to make a landfall somewhere near Galveston Island sometime late tomorrow night or very early Wednesday.
First the good news:. Some drier air circulating into the system over the past 24-hours has limited rainfall near the center, while the heaviest rain overnight has concentrated east of the Galveston-Houston area. This is providing minor relief to the flooded areas. Second, upper-level wind shear and the lack of a strong inner core means that only minor intensification is currently anticipated by the National Hurricane Center before Harvey makes landfall again.
Now the worrisome aspects: Potential for substantial rain still persists, especially if Harvey is able to reorganize while offshore. In addition, Tropical Storm Warnings continue in effect for Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula as wind gusts could equal or exceed the storm maximum (40-mph sustained winds and 51-mph peak gusts in Galveston). So Tropical Storm conditions and elevated tides remain likely through Wednesday. In addition, isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out during passing squalls.
This link provides an overview of the current threats from Harvey (just click on the options to view wind, storm surge, flooding rain or tornado threats).
Both the official forecast cone and model arrays remain in good agreement regarding Harvey’s track in the Gulf and subsequent second landfall.
Tide levels are currently running 2 ½ feet above expected levels at Pier 21 and 3 feet above at Eagle Point on Galveston Bay. I would not be surprised to see somewhat higher levels, especially if Harvey intensifies somewhat as expected.
In any case, monitor local reports and warnings as well as National Hurricane Center updates. Be prepared and stay safe!