NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Harvey remains a strong category 2 storm as it makes its way to the Texas coast. Outer bands from the storm have already moved onshore to the north, and a tremendous amount of rain is on the way for that state over the next few days.
The latest radar shows the eye looking a bit more ragged. Earlier in the morning two eye walls were present, which is usually followed by one taking over. That is called the eyewall replacement cycle. That will limit a storms strengthening during that time, so a category 4 seems unlikely now. But Harvey should still make landfall as a major storm.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center does keep Harvey a tropical storm even several days after landfall. Its proximity to the water may keep it from weakening as much as a normal land falling system.
As of Friday morning, models were in decent agreement that a turn to the north would occur near the Texas-Louisiana border. This would take the center farther inland and away from New Orleans. However, it would also cause a longer time on the wet side of the storm for the eastern part of the state, and could increase rain amounts and tornado potential.
It’s important to remember this will still be a several day process. Wednesday and Thursday would be the days that you see more impacts across southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Right now the main threat would be localized flooding due to heavy rain.
A lot can happen with the future track. The wide cone at the end of the forecast demonstrates the uncertainty. Check back for updates.