My entire life I've been fascinated by storms, especially the beasts that defy the odds and become so epic they create a permanent legacy in weather history. What I have seen in Texas the past few days is truly heartbreaking. Harvey is a one of a kind rain making machine the likes of which we may not see again for another century. Biblical to be sure.
As the rain continues to fall 4 days after Harvey's landfall totals are mounting. In some areas around Houston amounts are pushing 40 inches. I saw this tweet from the NWS in Houston. So much rain has fallen that the color charts on the scale had to be adjusted because they maxed out at 25 inches. Nobody expected an individual storm to produce more rain than that, let alone 40"+.
Unfortunately that scale is not available to me so what I am showing Monday night is the 25" maximum scale centered on Houston. Every place you see in white has had at least 25", most more than that. Wow!
This larger perspective shows how massive the heavy rain shield actually is. Most of SE Texas and lower Louisiana have had a minimum of 10" within that massive blob of purple you see below.
I also saw this on the NWS Houston twitter page. It points out the 48 hour rain in Houston was 3 times greater than what hit New Orleans in Katrina. That event killed 10,000 people. So far the death toll in Harvey is under 10! Clearly Texas was better prepared for this disaster.
By the time this storm comes to an end Wednesday, it's likely Harvey will one of the wettest tropical storms in U.S. history. I've already seen amounts of up to 39". In 1978 Amelia squeezed out 48", again in the state of Texas. In fact, 5 of the top 10 rainfall events have occurred in the Lone Star State.
Harvey is now the 10th weather related event this year to cause at least a billion dollars damage in the United States. No doubt Harvey will be one of the costliest storms ever.
It remains to be seen where Harvey ends up in hurricane history. Just the fact it was a category 4 storm at landfall makes it one of the most intense in Texas history and the strongest in decades. While the wind impacts were confined to a narrow area, the storms slow movement has produced flooding that's been equated to a 1 in 800 year event. That in itself tells you all you need to know about this epic storm. Roll weather...TS