EVENING HARVEY UPDATE: Harvey has weakened to a Tropical Storm with max sustained winds of 60mph over south-central #Texas. Don’t let the downgrade fool you, devastating flash flood & tornado threat ongoing in Texas. This system is not going anywhere anytime soon. Harvey will continue to plague Texas & Louisiana for the next 5-7 days with a serious flash flood potential. In addition, latest forecast models this evening are trending back towards the potential for Harvey to re-emerge into the northwest Gulf of Mexico by Monday morning, which would lead to an extended duration of the system maintaining it’s identity as a tropical depression or tropical storm. If the system stayed over land longer, it would have higher possibility of weakening/dissipating.
The latest National Hurricane Center track keeps Harvey in Texas. Thus, we continue to be less worried about any wind impacts, and solely focused on the rain threat at this time. That path is still not 100% set in stone, and latest reliable forecast models are trending more east with Harvey. A more eastern path of Harvey would place us further in the “wet and sloppy” eastern quadrant of the system. Don’t let your guard down, this system has the potential to be a significant rain event for Acadiana.
Heavy rain has begun across Acadiana this evening as well. Intermittent rain bands moving expected overnight, and high-resolution forecast models indicate our heavy rain & flash flood risk will go up we will be going up Sunday-Friday. We will need to be vigilant about any bands that begin to “train” over the same locations for an extended duration day after day for the potential for flooding. The timing and location of these “training” bands of heavy rainfall will be difficult to predict, and they could set up at virtually an time! Some locations could see sunshine, while other locations 30 miles away could be seeing flooding rain.
The crucial question? Where will Harvey trek next? Reliable forecast models are having fits trying to answer that question. Harvey will likely stall over Texas for 24-48 hours, potentially longer! This stalled setup will lead to catastrophic flooding & significant potential for property damage wherever the heaviest rain sets up. Up to TWO-THREE FEET of rain is forecast for Texas. After that, forecast models then indicate Harvey drift southward & could briefly dip back into the Gulf of Mexico before possibly making a second landfall in Texas. But, that part of the track is highly questionable & uncertain at this point.
Bottom line: be prepared for a heavy rain threat for the next 7 days & hope the worst rain stays to our west! Rainfall projections for Acadiana between 7-13+ inches of rain possible within the next 5-7 days with localized higher totals of 9-16+ inches possible(especially in Vermilion, Cameron, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, and Acadia Parishes). Lower totals expected the further north and east you go. But, expect those numbers to continue to go up or down depending on Harvey’s exact forecast path. Stay tuned for updates.