HARVEY, BILLION DOLLAR BABY...
A lot can change in 24 hours and that's certainly been the case with hurricane Harvey. Yesterday the storm was projected to come ashore in SE Texas as a strong tropical storm or a minimal category 1 hurricane. However, the storm has rapidly intensified thanks to weak shear aloft and the 90 degree waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You can see where the warmest water resides below.
Here's the upper level shear. Strong winds aloft can disrupt the circulation and keep the storm from intensifying. That is not the case with Harvey as you can see below. The green regions are favorable for tropical cyclone intensification
By late Friday many models are now showing Harvey as a strong category 2 or 3 storm. Here's what the various models were predicting as of Thursday evening.
The National Hurricane Center calls for a major hurricane at landfall with 120-125 mph sustained winds. Landfall should be close to Corpus Christi, Texas late Friday night.
Here's where the greatest threat of tropical storm force winds are currently focused.
Along with the winds will come a significant storm surge. Waves up to 8 feet on top of high tides are anticipated.