Ali Kohutek, Jacob Hale, Kevin Nelson, Joseph Hill, Philippe E. Tissot
Atmospheric Science Program
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Port Aransas, Texas, August 25-26, 2017. Hurricane Harvey was the first hurricane to hit the Texas Coast since Hurricane Ike in September 2008 (US Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather Service, 2017). Varying degrees of damage occurred along much of the Texas Coastal Bend providing an opportunity to study and place this major hurricane in the context of previous Texas Hurricanes. During the period 1950-2017, ten major hurricanes impacted South Texas: Audrey (1957), Carla (1961), Beulah (1967), Celia (1970), Allen (1980), Alicia (1983), Bret (1999), and Harvey (2017) (Roth, 2010). Harvey was the first major hurricane to strike South Texas since Celia in 1970 (U.S Department of Commerce, 2017). With all of the recent press coverage of major hurricanes in 2017, it is important to put them into context with past land-falling hurricanes in Texas. This study examines Hurricane Harvey and its local landfall, and compare it to past major hurricanes that also made landfall in South Texas. Factors we consider in comparing Harvey to other past hurricanes include maximum sustained winds, minimum central pressure, and storm surge. Several of the past hurricanes to make landfall in South Texas experienced rapid intensification including, Celia, Brett and Harvey. We evaluate each of these hurricanes’ process of rapid intensification and potential secondary eyewall replacement where applicable. Furthermore, we address the magnitude of the damage that each hurricane caused on the communities they impacted. In order to evaluate Hurricane Harvey observations will be gathered from the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) weather station, as well as stations surrounding the coastal bend that are monitored by the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON) and the National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON). The ERA-Interim reanalysis product from the European Center for Medium-Range Forecasting is also used to fill in gaps of data where necessary.
Roth, D. (2010, January 6). Texas Hurricane History. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from https://www.weather.gov/media/lch/events/txhurricanehistory.pdf
US Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather Service. (2017, September 21). Major Hurricane Harvey - August 25-29, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from http://www.weather.gov/crp/hurricane_harvey