Risk of tropical or hurricane conditions impacting Texas coast grows

This National Hurricane Center map shows the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey, which is expected to reform in the next 24- to 36-hours into a tropical depression over the Gulf of Mexico and potentially threaten the coast of Texas by the end of the week.

This National Hurricane Center map shows the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey, which is expected to reform in the next 24- to 36-hours into a tropical depression over the Gulf of Mexico and potentially threaten the coast of Texas by the end of the week.

In the Gulf of Mexico, storms can happen quickly. That is the case with the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey, which are moving into the Gulf and could potentially threaten the coast of Texas later this week.

Riskpulse, a prescriptive supply chain risk analytics company, has raised its "Riskpulse Condition" to Amber, for the area, which includes Southeast Texas and the Houston metro area. An Amber level means that fleets and shippers operating in the region need to be aware of the potential for a storm.

“We believe it’s quite possible that hurricane watches/warnings could be raised along the Texas Coast tomorrow,” said Stephen Bennett, COO. “We’re currently expecting the combination of very warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and favorable atmospheric conditions to produce a highly favorable environment for intensification once the storm reforms.”

The firm expects the warm sea surface temperatures and favorable atmospheric conditions to create a very conducive environment for the remnants of Harvey to reform, possibly into a Category 1 hurricane before it nears the Texas coast sometime on Friday. 

Due to the short timeframe, a major hurricane (Cat 3 or greater) is unlikely. 

Harvey initially developed over the Atlantic, but due to wind shear never fully developed before losing its organization. The remnants of the storm are now over the Yucatan Peninsula as a tropical wave. The system is expected to move into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and reform.

The initial track of the system was toward the Mexico/Texas border near Brownsville, TX. In the last 24 hours, though, that has changed. Computer models are now indicating a more eastward track, raising the risk to the central and southeast Texas coast.

According to Riskpulse, the main impacts, as of now, are likely to be heavy rains and flooding. Longer term, though, the system could linger inland, bringing heavy rains and flooding concerns in Southern Texas and potentially Louisiana and Arkansas. 

“Flooding potential in southern Texas is by far the biggest risk via this storm,” says Jon Davis, chief meteorologist of Riskpulse. “That is true weather it reaches a minimal tropical storm or a Cat 2. The flooding is the top risk in every sector - energy, agriculture, and transportation. Rarely do you see a setup that has a more favorable setup for flooding in a specific area.”

Riskpulse is advising trucking interests in the region to monitor conditions and be prepared for changes and possible impacts, which could disrupt operations and strand equipment in flooded areas.