HOUSTON (CW39) – On this date 4 years ago, Houston was forecasting for an event that would change the city forever. Harvey had crossed over the Windward islands the Friday before as a tropical storm and had now made its way into the Gulf of Mexico.
The 7am update showed strengthening… 60 mph sustained winds and a projected track for the central Texas coast.
By 11 a.m. in Port Aransas, Mayor Charles R. Bujan orders a mandatory evacuation.
One hour later Harvey was a Category 1 Hurricane with 80 mph sustained winds. Forecasts were becoming more in alignment for a major hurricane. San Patricio County and Aransas County issued mandatory evacuations for ALL residents by the afternoon.
The NHC defines “rapid intensification” as an increase of Hurricane windspeeds by 35 mph in a 24-hour period. This is exactly what was happening within the storm.
Harvey was a Category 1 hurricane by the afternoon with the central pressure steadily dropping.
By 6pm Residents in Nueces County are advised to voluntarily evacuate.
Going to bed that night, here is what we knew: the storm was 250 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, a Category 1 Hurricane, forecasts were calling for major hurricane status by the morning (Cat 3 or higher). A sharp easterly turn after landfall was projected; putting the center of Harvey over Houston by the Monday of the following week. Forecasts were coming more into alignment with rainfall: 25 inches or higher for the Houston metro area. Forecasters and residents began wrapping their heads around the worst-case scenario… Harvey was a Category 2 by midnight and on its way to make landfall in less than 24 hours.
Tomorrow we will break down the series of events approaching Harvey’s landfall on Aug. 25th 2017.