Harvey update: Hurricane Watch issued for Texas coast

The KHOU 11 Weather Team is monitoring Tropical Depression Harvey which has strengthened after entering the southern Gulf of Mexico.

HOUSTON – KENS 5 sister station KHOU is monitoring Tropical Depression Harvey which has strengthened after entering the southern Gulf of Mexico.

According to the current forecast track, Houston will be on the "dirty" side of this system, warns KHOU 11 Chief Meteorologist David Paul. It is too early to forecast the exact location Harvey will make landfall, but it is possible Houston will receive heavy rainfall and flooding this weekend.

"For we here in Houston, it is the flooding threat that will be a threat extended over several days that is most concerning," says Paul. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a State of Disaster for 30 counties in anticipation of Tropical Depression Harvey making landfall.

While weather alerts are in effect for our area, KHOU 11 Meteorologist Brooks Garner says he does not believe there will be any in-land evacuations called for, although coastal communities could be impacted by a storm surge. Residents need to prepare to possibly shelter in place if flooding occurs.

Harvey is expected to make landfall Friday evening which is when the rain threat will begin in Houston and last until Wednesday. Paul says we could see rain totals that exceed 15 to 20 inches in some areas. 

The following alerts have been issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Texas coast:

-- Storm Surge Watch from Port Mansfield to High Island (nearly all of the Texas coast)
-- Hurricane Watch is in effect for North of Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass (ends just west of Galveston)
-- Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Boca De Catan Mexico to Port Mansfield Texas and North of San Luis Pass to High Island (including all of the Galveston area and eastward)

The following alerts are in effect for Houston-area counties:

-- Austin County: Tropical Storm Watch
-- Brazoria County: Hurricane Watch
-- Colorado County: Tropical Storm Watch
-- Fort Bend County: Tropical Storm Watch
-- Galveston County: Tropical Storm Watch
-- Harris County: Tropical Storm Watch
-- Jackson County: Hurricane Watch
-- Liberty County: Tropical Storm Watch
-- Matagorda County: Hurricane Watch
-- Wharton County: Tropical Storm Watch
-- Waller County: Tropical Storm Watch

HURRICANE CENTRAL: What you need to know to prepare for a storm

BE READY: KHOU 11 Hurricane & Severe Weather Preparedness Guide

Harvey is expected to move north and make landfall along the Texas coast. The system could produce storm surge flooding along the coast and flooding from heavy rainfall anywhere from eastern Texas into western Louisiana, Houston included. But it's too soon to accurately predict the storm's exact path and landfall location.

TRACK THE TROPICS: Hurricane Central Interactive Map

Currently Houston’s forecast calls for a 90 percent rain chance this weekend. The biggest impact could be widespread flooding. 

At Wednesday morning's regular City Council meeting, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said now is the time for citizens to prepare, encouraging everyone to make an emergency kit, minimize travel and monitor conditions.

© 2018 KHOU-TV


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