Harold Is Downgraded to Tropical Depression After Causing Floods in Texas 2023

Harold The storm unleashed heavy rainfall that caused flooding in parts of Corpus Christi, local officials said.

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Harold After making landfall as a tropical storm on Padre Island, Texas, on Tuesday morning, Harold was downgraded to a tropical depression, capping an exceptionally hectic 48 hours for an Atlantic hurricane season that saw three additional storms form in rapid succession.

According to a warning from the National Hurricane Center, Harold battered parts of southern Texas with heavy rain on Tuesday and was forecast to dump up to six inches of rain in a few isolated locations until early Wednesday.

According to Bob Oravec, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, by the afternoon, the storm had already dumped up to two inches of rain in a number of locations, including at Corpus Christi International Airport. East of the airport, on Mustang Island, he said that there had been a seven-inch snowfall.

Although the storm had diminished to a tropical depression by Tuesday evening, forecasters indicated heavy rain had not stopped.

Mr. Oravec commented, “It’s moving very quickly,” adding that he had not expected the torrential downpour to linger for so long.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state had sent out rescue boats, search and rescue teams, and platoons from the Texas National Guard as part of its emergency response efforts. According to the city of Corpus Christi, multiple roads were closed due to floods, and the administration advised citizens to drive carefully, turn on their headlights, and seek out alternate routes.

No one was hurt or killed, according to Billy Delgado, the city’s emergency management coordinator, and the bulk of complaints the city is receiving are about blocked roads and downed trees. We’ve experienced numerous floods, Mr. Delgado added. We had planned ahead.

According to meteorologists, the storm touched down on Padre Island, a well-liked tourist destination noted for its beaches, about 10 a.m. local time. Videos shared on social media appeared to depict ominous clouds, swaying palm trees, and street signs. The storm’s center had moved inland by 1 p.m., Harold according to forecasters. They reported that Harold was traveling toward southern Texas and northern Mexico at a speed of about 21 mph in a west-northwest direction. Tropical storm watches and advisories were still in effect for a number of locations.

Harold is the first storm of the Atlantic hurricane season to make landfall after Emily, Franklin, and Gert Harold.

According to poweroutage.us, there were more than 25,000 households and businesses without power in the state as of around 4 p.m. local time Harold.

Hilary, a second tropical storm, pounded the West Coast over the weekend. Only Franklin, out of the three other storms that have formed since Sunday, Harold was predicted to continue to pose a risk of making landfall into Tuesday.

According to the Hurricane Center, Harold had sustained winds of about 45 miles per hour and stronger gusts. Tropical disturbances are given names when they have sustained winds of 39 mph. A storm turns into a hurricane once winds hit 74 mph, and a major hurricane at 111 mph.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1 and lasts until November 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that this year will have 12 to 17 named storms, which is a “near-normal” number, in late May. On August 10, NOAA officials updated their prediction, increasing it to 14 to 21 storms.

After two exceptionally active Atlantic hurricane seasons during which forecasters ran out of names and had to use backup lists, there were 14 named storms last year.

El Nio was present this year and came in June. The sporadic climatic phenomena usually reduces the frequency of Atlantic storms and can have wide-ranging consequences on weather globally.

El Nio causes a rise in wind shear in the Atlantic, which is the change in wind direction and speed from the surface of the ocean or land into the atmosphere. The instability brought on by increasing wind shear reduces the likelihood of the calm conditions necessary for hurricane formation. The amount of wind shear is decreased by El Nio in the Pacific, which is the opposite impact.

However, this year’s higher sea surface temperatures are a concern in their own right since they have the power to intensify storms.

This unprecedented convergence of variables has made accurate storm forecasting more challenging.

After the NOAA amended their estimate in August, Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University, remarked, “Stuff just doesn’t feel right.” “There are just a lot of weird things going on,” the speaker said.

Track Extreme Weather Risks

There is broad agreement among experts that climate change is responsible for hurricanes’ increasing power. Overall, there may not be more named storms, but there are more likely to be major hurricanes.

The volume of rain that storms can drop is also being impacted by climate change. As a result of increased atmospheric moisture due to global warming, named storms are capable of producing greater rainfall, as was the case with Hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2017, at the point when a few regions got more than 40 crawls of downpour in under 48 hours.

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