Anthony Romero, Steven Jones, Michael Riser, Kevin Nelson, and Joseph Hill
Atmospheric Sciences Program
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Hurricane Harvey was the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the Texas Coastal Bend area since Hurricane Celia in 1970. During the days prior to its landfall, model guidance was changing and underestimated considerably the intensity of the hurricane at landfall impacting preparation efforts and planning. It was only within two days of landfall that both storm track and intensity solutions converged within the model ensemble. This study will evaluate the performance of the basic Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model running on the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) high-performance computing (HPC) cluster by comparing model output to observations obtained at various stations on the TAMUCC campus, as well as throughout the Coastal Bend. Furthermore, satellite derived surface wind speed from the newly launched Cyclone GNSS (CYGNSS) mission and infrared imagery are used to verify model output. With rapid intensification being a factor in Hurricane Harvey’s sudden intensity changes, we also look for signs of rapid intensification and secondary eyewall replacements throughout the duration of the simulation. In addition, the eye diameter of Hurricane Harvey was unusually large, which brings into question if any particular factors caused the eye to be larger than other storms.