Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall in Corpus Christi Texas, but could it reach Louisiana?
Heavy rainfall is expected in Louisiana as a result of the hurricane. According to the Associated Press, “Heavy rains are expected to extend into Louisiana as its winds spin counter-clockwise, carrying water from the Gulf of Mexico far inland. National Weather Service forecasts had rainfall amounts as high as 15 inches in southwest Louisiana over the next seven days, and up to six inches in the New Orleans area.”
You can see up-to-the-minute tracking maps here.
The governor’s office has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, and notes, “What this means for us locally is a heavy rain and storm threat predominantly, with wind and tornadoes being a lower end threat. Up to seven inches of rain is expected Friday through the weekend, with the potential for over 14 inches. This has the potential to be a dangerous flooding event. The storm surge will also come into play, with portions of Jefferson and Orange counties, as well as Cameron, Vermilion, Iberia, and St. Mary parishes under the risk Friday.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote in a press release, “All arms of the state’s emergency preparedness and response apparatus are planning for the serious threat posed by Hurricane Harvey, and we are calling on all Louisianans throughout the state to do so as well. I will continue to direct all of the necessary resources to preparing for the worst as we all pray for the best, but rest assured, state and local officials are working around the clock to monitor and respond to this potentially dangerous situation.”
A good site to follow on social media is @GOHSEP, the governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
However, it’s not clear exactly how much rain could fall. Some offshore oil rigs and platforms were evacuated, reported AP.
Here’s a forecast for Louisiana.
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said in a press release that “livestock and pet owners in southwest Louisiana should be ready in the event a tropical system in the gulf causes flooding.”
“While this storm is projected to make landfall in Texas, it will be a large and slow moving system that can produce storm surge and excessive rainfall in parts of Louisiana,” said Strain. “This is a good time to be ready to move large animals out of harm’s way, if necessary.”
Strain added: “Right now, most of the state is expected to get rain, but southwest Louisiana is the most at-risk. While evacuations are not being called at this time, it’s important that livestock owners who plan to evacuate with a trailer of animals to leave as early as possible.”
How bad could things get? There’s a risk of flooding in New Orleans, although it’s by no means certain, but, reports NBC News, New Orleans is ill-prepared. “New Orleans is facing the biggest threat to public safety since Katrina ravaged the city 12 years ago,” NBC News reported. “With a large number of pumps and turbines out of service, it is not clear if the city is ready for Hurricane Harvey, and the city is studying emergency evacuation plans.”
“Harvey is forecast to bring torrential rains and dangerous storm surge that have the potential to create a life threatening flooding situation starting Friday,” The National Weather Service reports of the danger to the country.
According to The New Orleans Advocate, there are concerns that, if the hurricane’s track “shifts a bit,” after its Texas landfall, the “storm might move toward Louisiana.”
“Hurricane Harvey track shifts a bit; after Texas landfall, storm might move toward Louisiana,” The Advocate reports. In a 4 p.m. August 24 advisory, the National Hurricane Center wrote that forecasting models “have trended toward showing Harvey moving slowly eastward” toward Louisiana next week after hitting Texas first, “but it’s too early to know if the center will remain over land or re-emerge over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.”
According to Nola.com, “The storm is expected to arrive in Texas Saturday, with rain starting to fall in Louisiana Sunday, according to the governor’s staff. Southwest and central Louisiana are the most vulnerable to flooding because of the storm, but the whole state should be on alert.”
As for New Orleans specifically, current forecasts only predict 4 to 6 inches of rain there and the current path doesn’t cause “additional concerns” for New Orleans, reported Nola.com. The governor said that it’s not clear whether the storm will strike Louisiana, but concerns are centered around whether New Orleans would be prepared if it did, according to the newspaper.
According to The Houston Chronicle, Hurricane Harvey is poised to be “the first major hurricane to threaten the coast in more than a decade.”
The National Weather Service has a detailed updated forecast for New Orleans that includes windspeeds and many other data points.
You can check hourly forecasts for New Orleans here.
Texas is expected to get the biggest hit from the storm.
According to CNN, Hurricane Harvey “is forecast to become a Category 3 hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph by the time it hits the middle Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday…After hitting Corpus Christi, the storm is expected to stall over the state, forecasters say.”
The National Hurricane Center reports that hurricane force winds are described as “one-minute average wind speeds of at least 74 mph” and tropical storm force winds are “one-minute average wind speeds of 39-73 mph.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, the storm’s path is “is similar to that of Tropical Storm Allison,” which, in Harris County, Texas “left 22 dead and 30,000 homeless, and caused more than $5 billion in property damages.”
You can see more updated radar reports here.
This page by the National Hurricane Center has a current map that tracks Hurricane Harvey’s path.
At 1 p.m. on August 24, “Harvey was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. It was about 335 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, and was moving north-northwest at 10 mph,” CNN reported.
The National Weather Service forecast for Friday in New Orleans reads: “A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 90. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.”
The forecast Saturday reads: “Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 8am. Cloudy, with a high near 88. East wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.”
The forecast Sunday reads: “Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 8am. Cloudy, with a high near 83. Chance of precipitation is 70%.”
Showers and thunderstorms are predicted for every day of the following week.
As noted, the more immediate concerns are in Texas.
According to ABC 13, on August 24, “A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Texas coast from Port Mansfield to Matagorda. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from north of Matagorda to High Island Texas. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass.”