Hurricane Harvey will enter the record as one of the most unusual (if not unique) storms in U.S. history.
Among Harvey’s destructive legacies: 1) It shattered the U.S. record for total rainfall in a both a single event and a tropical system with the 51.85 inch precipitation total at Cedar Bayou; 2) It “could” ultimately enter the record books as the most expensive natural disaster (in inflation adjusted dollars) in American history, surpassing Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; 3) It was the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the Texas coast since Hurricane Carla in 1961 and 4) It was the most intense hurricane to ever directly strike the Port Aransas-Rockport area.
In addition, Harvey broke all-time rainfall records for the storm and for the month in Galveston County, with an astonishing 43.96 inch storm total at the NWS office in League City/Dickinson (49.84 inch total at a nearby site) and a monthly total of 47.69 inches, far surpassing the previous monthly total there. In Galveston, Harvey raised the August, 2017 precipitation total to 26.67 inches, breaking the previous wettest month record of 26.01 inches of rain set back in September, 1885.
And if that weren’t enough to make Harvey amazing, if not unique, consider this: we’ve had strong to major hurricanes strike the middle Texas coast in the past, we’ve had storms make landfall and then drift back into the Gulf and make landfall again, and we’ve had storms stall and produce extreme rains and flooding by drifting slowly near or over Southeast Texas, but we’ve never had a single storm do all three!
Finally, as if we aren’t weary enough about this Hurricane Season, it seems there are two areas of possible concern for next week and beyond. The first is a tropical wave moving towards the Bay of Campeche that is given a 20% chance of developing over coming 5-days.The major fear is more rain with this…though an advancing cold front may keep it off to the east.
The second is soon to be Hurricane Irma in the east-central Atlantic. This morning’s GFS model has it ultimately turn east towards the Carolinas while the European model has it moving west towards Cuba. Bottom line, too uncertain right now and we have plenty of time to monitor.