Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Harvey's final tally

Matt Lanza passes along these stunning statistics:
The National Hurricane Center released their post-storm report on Hurricane Harvey yesterday. These things are always interesting to read from a meteorological perspective. This one obviously has added meaning for all of us. You can read the report here. Much of what’s in the report you have already heard from us, but it is worth reading in full, as there are lots of statistics and images. Here are a few key points:
  • The highest storm total rainfall that can be confirmed is 60.58″, which occurred near Nederland, TX in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. A 60.54″ report was confirmed in Groves, TX near Port Arthur as well. Both of these totals, along with five others (most in the Friendswood area), establish a new United States record for rainfall associated with a tropical cyclone, breaking the 1950 total of 52″ in Hawaii from Hurricane Hiki.
  • The previous Lower 48 record was 48″ from Tropical Storm Amelia in Medina, TX back in 1978. Harvey broke that record in at least 18 locations.
  • Radar estimates of 65-70″ were noted, but cannot be confirmed.
  • The spatial extent of the heaviest rains from Harvey was “overwhelming” and likely has never been matched in American history.
  • Harvey was the second costliest tropical cyclone in US history behind only Hurricane Katrina.
  • At least 68 deaths from Harvey in Texas (about half of which occurred in Harris County) were the most from a Texas tropical cyclone since 1919. However, zero deaths are attributable to storm surge, which is amazing for a storm of this magnitude.
  • Highest observed wind gust was 126 kt (145 mph) near Rockport.
  • 57 confirmed tornadoes in the Southern US from Harvey.
  • Over 300,000 structures were flooded, along with over 500,000 vehicles.
  • 30,000 water rescues were conducted and 40,000 people evacuated from flooding.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Harvey was "the most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in United States history." Matt says that the report "still gives this meteorologist chills." It as was truly an off-the-charts event, as these jaw-dropping statistics attest. It has changed our lives and our region in ways that we are only beginning to see and may not fully appreciate for years.

And yet, we're still here. We continue to recover. Our region, its people and its economy continue to function. Life goes on.


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