We are living in a new world and reality, a post-Harvey Texas. Just a week ago, a Category 4 monster, Hurricane Harvey was barreling down towards Rockport. Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall on America since Wilma in 2005. I think the National Hurricane Center (NHC) may increase Harvey’s peak to 140 mph 224 km/h 122 knots hurricane. Harvey being the first major hurricane to make landfall since Wilma has been largely overshadowed by the epic flooding that ravaged Houston and Beaumont area. That started on the night of August 26, 2017. A series of core rains that form near the center of Harvey.
One good news, the area of thunderstorms in the Southwest Gulf of Mexico does not pose a threat due to wind shear. It is an area of thunderstorms from a tropical wave. However, a cold front that is passing to Southeast Texas could set off thunderstorms and more rain as it picks up moisture from the tropical wave per NWS Houston.
FXUS64 KHGX 020220
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX
920 PM CDT Fri Sep 1 2017
Forecast for tonight looking on track. Updated temps and
dewpoints for trends.
.PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 628 PM CDT Fri Sep 1 2017/
Sea breeze and outflow boundary are working their way inland with not
a whole lot of wind changes. SHRA activity that did develop late this
afternoon has now moved away from LBX. Look for light and variable
winds overnight with some patchy MVFR fog possible again at CXO. Expect
VFR conditions tomorrow with mainly light and variable winds. 42
PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 343 PM CDT Fri Sep 1 2017/
Current satellite is showing the typical afternoon cumulus field
developing across southeast Texas. There is a little enhanced
cumulus along the coast but the weak seabreeze is having trouble
generating enough lift for anything more than very isolated and
weak showers. This is expected again tomorrow and the dry weather
is greatly appreciated.
Models are still showing an upper level trough dropping into North
Texas tomorrow night though a significant change is a stronger
ridge over the southern Plains pinching the trough off from the
westerly flow and retrograding it back to the southwest earlier
than previous model runs. A more westerly position of this trough
means weaker lift and lower PoPs for Saturday night and Sunday.
Tropical moisture in the southern Gulf of Mexico will move north
early next week giving us our next decent chance for rainfall. At
the same time, a western U.S. ridge will amplify and northerly
upper flow will drive a cold front through the area Tuesday night
and early Wednesday. The tropical moisture already in place will
interact with this cold front producing a line of showers and
storms along the front. Fortunately the cold front will be moving
fairly quickly, especially for this time of year, pushing the rain
south by Wednesday afternoon. Behind the front, cool and dry air
will filter into the area bringing very pleasant temperatures with
highs only in the lower 80s Wed/Thu.
There is also a tropical wave in the far eastern Atlantic that has a good chance of becoming Jose in the next five days. My main concern is Hurricane Irma, which is a Category 3 hurricane out in the Atlantic. Many are wondering where will Irma go. The latest heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance. The GFS goes up to 10 days.
Most forecast models have Irma moving west southwest direction in the next 5 days. From there, based on GFS ensembles, it could go anywhere. Some have Irma going into the Gulf of Mexico and hitting Louisiana in 10 days. Some have Irma hitting Florida to New York. This is too early too tell and this a low confidence forecast. Anything can happen between now and around September 11, which is the 16th anniversary of horrifying terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people and destroyed the World Trade Center.
Many on social media may have seen this.
That is bogus. For one, the NHC does not issue forecasts 13 days in advance. They only go up to 5 days in advance. Nobody knows where Irma or any hurricane will go in the next 10 days, let alone 5 days.
The latest intensity forecast are in general agreement that Irma will be a major hurricane. A couple have Irma as a Category 2 fluctuating as Category 3, which happens due to eyewall replacement cycle.
I would not be surprised if Irma becomes a Category 5 hurricane, especially when it gets around the Caribbean. Hurricanes in that part of the Atlantic rarely become Category 5 hurricanes. Irma will have to be watched for September.