Thursday, 24 August, 2017

Hurricane Harvey to Impact Energy and Agriculture in Texas

GAITHERSBURG, MD - Harvey re-formed in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday and has now strengthened into a hurricane with 80 mph winds as it heads northwestward toward the Texas coastline. Harvey is forecast to reach Category 3 strength with maximum sustained winds up to 115 mph by the time it reaches the Gulf Production Region off the Texas coast on Friday. This would make Harvey the first major hurricane to make landfall in the US since Wilma in 2005. A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect from Port Mansfield to Matagorda with landfall projected to be near Corpus Christi. The approaching storm is likely to prompt some suspension of operations and evacuation of rigs and platforms that lie in Harvey’s path. 
“The wind and storm surge threats from Harvey are now looking quite significant for areas near the coast of Texas, but the storm’s greatest danger on a wider scale may be inland flooding as the system is projected to slow down substantially after making landfall,” said Steve Silver, Senior Meteorologist at MDA Weather. “The storm will then linger over Texas through the weekend and even into early next week, bringing very heavy rain for several days.” 
As the storm slowly meanders overhead, it will drop substantial amounts of rain over portions of eastern Texas and Louisiana with amounts of 10-20”+ projected. Cities including Houston, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Baton Rouge, and Lake Charles are at the greatest risk of life-threatening flooding from Harvey. Forecast amounts from Harvey rival those of Tropical Storm Allison, which brought Houston some of its worst flooding on record in 2001. 

Cotton growers along the Coastal Bend of Texas are also monitoring the progression of Harvey for potential impacts. “Massive rainfall amounts along the Coastal Bend will likely cause significant damage to crops, especially cotton,” said Don Keeney, Senior Agricultural Meteorologist for MDA Weather Services. “Once the storm moves into the Delta, some heavy rains and localized flooding will occur, although impacts there will not be as significant as in Texas.” 
MDA Weather Services has a newly-updated Tropical Package that includes real-time storm monitoring, weather models, expert discussions, and much more. Contact us today for more information on our tropical products as we continue to track Harvey as well as all future tropical systems heading into the upcoming climatological peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

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