Jeff Lindner’s morning update follows below. Feel free to share as you see appropriate.
HCOHSEM is continuing to monitor Hurricane Delta at Level III, Increased Readiness, with HCOHSEM staff only. Once Hurricane Delta makes landfall, we will return to Level IV Normal Operations for tropical weather. Impacts to Harris County are forecasted to be minimal, so we will not schedule an industry brief webinar at this time.
Sent by Pamela Parker, EHCMA, on behalf of:
Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Director
Major hurricane Delta approaching the SW Louisiana and upper TX coast.
Conditions along the coast will be deteriorating today as both storm surge and winds increase.
USAF and NOAA aircraft have been in Delta all night and it appears the hurricane has bottomed out on the pressure around 953mb and winds of 120mph. Recent passes indicate the pressure may be starting to rise and the satellite images show a general erosion on the southwest side and no longer show an eye feature. It appears the much anticipated SW wind shear along the TX coast is starting to impact the hurricane. Overnight, Delta passed nearly directly over NOAA Buoy 42002, 200 miles east of Brownsville which gusted over 70kts and reported seas of 35 feet. Currently, NOAA buoy 42019, 60 miles south of Freeport is gusting to 52mph and 17 foot swells. Anadarko Oil platform (KGUL), 165 feet in the air has gusted to 85mph this morning.
Tide stations along the upper Texas coast indicate that water levels are between 1-2 feet above MHHW (vegetation line) currently and high tide was around 1-3am this morning. Since the high tide, there has been very little decrease in the water level and this is due to the push of the water ahead of Delta and the increasing large swells now marking their way onto the coast. Tides levels will hover in the 1-3 feet above MHW range for much of the day.
The center of Delta is roughly 160 miles SE of Galveston and tropical storm force winds extend outward 160 miles from the center. Tropical storm conditions are nearing the upper TX coast and Galveston North Jetty is gusting to 37mph currently. As the hurricane moves slightly closer to the upper TX coast before turning NNE later this morning, tropical storm force winds will expand into the areas around Galveston Bay, and especially over Chambers County.
Radar shows the outer western rain shield of Delta has expanded into SE TX overnight with numerous squalls approaching the coast. There will be a fairly sharp gradient in the rainfall today with areas west of I-45 and SH 288 likely experiencing the lower amounts and areas east of that line 1-2 inches, especially in Chambers and Liberty Counties.
Conditions should begin to rapidly improve this evening as Delta moves inland over southwestern Louisiana.