Sandbags, plywood, generators: Texas coast braces for Harvey View photosLeo Sermiento, left, and Emilio Gutierrez, right, fill sandbags in preparation of a tropical system on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, on South Padre Island, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level and is making state resources available for preparation and possible rescue and recovery actions amid forecasts a tropical storm will make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast. (Jason Hoekema/The Brownsville Herald via AP)HOUSTON (AP) — Former Tropical Storm Harvey drifted erratically toward the Texas Gulf Coast late Wednesday amid forecasts it could become a hurricane by landfall later this week, dumping heavy rain and raising the threat of flooding.The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the tropical depression was expected to intensify over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the Texas coast sometime late Friday. Emergency officials geared up as forecasters predicted heavy rains in parts of eastern Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi that could continue for days.Related SearchesTropical Storm Harvey HoustonHurricane Harvey HoustonPath Of Tropical Storm HarveyHurricane Harvey NewsTracking Hurricane HarveyTexas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level, making state resources available for possible rescue and recovery actions. Abbott also pre-emptively declared a state of disaster for 30 counties on or near the coast to speed deployment of state resources to any areas affected.Emergency officials asked residents along the upper Texas coastline to move or prepare to move inland. Those in low-lying areas were urged to seek higher ground, and those elsewhere were told to monitor official announcements closely. As of Wednesday afternoon, the campus of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was the only area under a mandatory evacuation order.On South Padre Island, people filled sandbags and loaded them into cars and vans to take to protect exposed homes and businesses. Others in the forecast path of the storm sought out generators, plywood and other goods from hardware stores.Meanwhile, rice farmers in coastal Matagorda County moved quickly to harvest their crops.Rainfall totals of 10 to 15 inches (250-380 millimeters) were possible over the middle and upper Texas coast and southwest Louisiana through Tuesday, the Miami-based hurricane center said.At 10 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Harvey was centered about 445 miles (715 kms) southeast of Port Mansfield, Texas. It was moving northwest at about 2 mph (4 kph) and had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph). The hurricane center said Harvey could regain tropical storm status in coming hours on its crawl over the Gulf.A hurricane watch was issued for the coast from Port Mansfield at the south to San Luis Pass, at the western end of Galveston Island, at the north. A storm surge watch was in effect for Port Mansfield to High Island, just up the coast from Galveston.A tropical storm watch was in effect for Boca de Catan, Mexico, just south of the Texas border, to Port Mansfield and from San Luis Pass to High Island.
Let a Snow Melting System Do the Work For You Timothy Dahl From Popular MechanicsSnow-covered walkways are treacherous, but clearing your driveway of snow is an arduous task even for the physically fit. The next generation of snow melting systems get rid of the white stuff while you sleep and are virtually maintenance-free.Snow melting systems like Warmup can be permanently installed under concrete, asphalt, and pavers. They’re basically a series of electrical cables and mats that are automatically activated by a moisture and temperature sensor controls. Other systems use flexible tubes of warm water that flow beneath the surface to warm a driveway.These systems should be installed by a contractor and licensed electrician, as they need to tap into your panel box. Depending on how many snow melting mats you install, you may need to upgrade the power system coming into your home with sufficient amps to run the system. During installation make sure the contractors are continually checking the ohm resistance so they can immediately address any damage that might have occurred to the mats and cables.Make sure to get exact measurements and plan out where the mats will go before purchasing them. For example, you may not want to warm your entire driveway, just where you park your car. The sensor should be installed in an area clear of obstructions and that is easily accessible.If installing a snow melting system below your walkway is too expensive and time-consuming, you can use snow melting mats like HeatTrak that sit on top of your walkway or steps and melt snow in the same manner. These products are seasonal and stored away when the snow is gone.Staying safe and slip-free is the number one reason to install a snow melting system, but other benefits include:
- Added home resale value similar to indoor radiant heated floors.
- Less environmental damage as no salt or chemicals are needed.
- No snow plows that can damage your driveway.
- No snow throwers that are loud and dirty to operate and take up valuable storage room.
- No more snow shovels that are physically strenuous to use and dangerous for those with back and shoulder problems.
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Oil companies evacuate workers as storm takes aim at Texas By Liz Hampton By Liz Hampton HOUSTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell and Anadarko Petroleum announced production shut-ins affecting five Gulf of Mexico oil platforms on Wednesday ahead of a storm expected to lash the Texas coast with heavy winds and rain later this week.The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch Wednesday for much of the Texas coast, calling for slow-moving Tropical Depression Harvey to intensify as it nears landfall.Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 30 counties ahead of the storm.Between 10 inches and 15 inches (25 cm to 38 cm) of rain are expected from the central Texas Coast to southwest Louisiana, with some areas receiving up to 20 inches of rain, according to the Miami-based NHC.”Heavy rainfall is likely to spread across portions of eastern Texas, Louisiana, and the lower Mississippi Valley from Friday through early next week and could cause life-threatening flooding,” the NHC said in an advisory.In Corpus Christi, city officials warned residents to expect a storm surge of between four feet and six feet (1.83 m) and began distributing sand bags to local residents.The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is home to about 17 percent of the nation’s crude output and 5 percent of dry natural gas output, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. More than 45 percent of the nation’s refining capacity is along the U.S. Gulf Coast.Shell said it was evacuating all personnel from the roughly 100,000 barrel per day Perdido oil and gas production platform as a precaution. Anadarko said it had shut in production and was evacuating workers from its Boomvang, Gunnison, Lucius and Nansen platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.Other Gulf of Mexico operators said they were watching developments closely but operations were unaffected.Chevron on Wednesday afternoon said it had not evacuated any staff and BP Plc said normal operations were still underway. ConocoPhillips said it was making preparations but had not interrupted any operations.Tropical Depression Harvey, which had top sustained winds of about 35 miles (55 km) per hour as it churned over Mexico’s Bay of Campeche late Wednesday, could become a hurricane by Friday, the NHC said.(Reporting by Liz Hampton and Ruthy Munoz; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)
Typhoon batters Hong Kong and south China, three dead in Macau By James Pomfret and Anne Marie Roantree View photos Waves triggered by Typhoon Hato are seen in Hong Kong, China August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone SiuBy James Pomfret and Anne Marie Roantree HONG KONG (Reuters) – Typhoon Hato, a maximum category 10 storm, slammed into Hong Kong on Wednesday lashing the Asian financial hub with wind and rain that uprooted trees and forced most businesses to close, while in some places big waves flooded seaside streets.There were reports of 34 people injured in Hong Kong while in the city of Macau, across the Pearl River estuary, three people were killed, authorities there said.In Hong Kong, more than 450 flights were canceled, financial markets suspended and schools closed as Hato bore down, the first category 10 storm to hit the city since 2012.”I’ve never seen one like this,” Garrett Quigley, a longtime resident of Lantau island to the west of the city, said of the storm.”Cars are half submerged and roads are impassable with flooding and huge trees down. It’s crazy.”Many skyscrapers in the usually teeming streets of Hong Kong were empty and dark as office workers stayed at home.Hato, that means „sky pigeon” in Japanese, churned up Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor and triggered large swells and big waves on some of the city’s most popular beaches, with serious flooding in low-lying areas.In residential districts such as Heng Fa Chuen on densely populated Hong Kong island, waves smashed against the sides of oceanfront buildings and surged over a promenade, sweeping away walls and benches and swamping vehicles parked nearby.Construction cranes swayed at the tops of skyscrapers, windows imploded and nearly 200 trees were uprooted, while some people used canoes to venture out into flooded streets.Authorities downgraded the storm to a category three by late-afternoon with government services, the courts, financial markets and companies set to resume normal business on Thursday.HIGH SEASThe storm also caused a power blackout across most of the gambling hub of Macau for about two hours, residents said, with disruption to mobile phone and internet networks. There was severe flooding on the streets, with some cars almost completely submerged, and the water supply was affected in some districts. The three men who died included a 45-year-old Chinese tourist who was hit by a heavy truck, according to a government statement.The former Portuguese colony’s casinos, however, had backup power, two casino executives told Reuters.The storm also made landfall in China’s Guangdong province, in Zhuhai city adjacent to Macau, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.Numerous flights and trains were canceled in Guangdong province, with Shenzhen’s International Airport particularly badly hit.Thousands of residents along the Chinese coast were evacuated and fishing vessels were called back to port.Maximum winds near Hato’s center were recorded at a destructive 155 kph (95 mph) as it continued to move west across Guangdong in the general direction of Hainan island.A senior scientific officer for the Hong Kong observatory warned that sea levels could rise several meters in some places, with the government issuing flood alerts and opening 27 shelters across the city.Trading in Hong Kong’s financial markets was halted for the day, the stock exchange said. Typhoon Nida in August last year was the last storm to close the exchange for the whole day.The city’s flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, and Hong Kong Airlines said the majority of their flights to and from Hong Kong between 2200 GMT Tuesday and 0900 GMT Wednesday would be canceled.Other transport services, including ferries to Macau and outlying islands in Hong Kong, were suspended.(Additional reporting by Farah Master and Stefanie McIntyre; Editing by Paul Tait, Michael Perry and Jacqueline Wong)
Zombie storm comes back from the (mostly) dead to threaten Gulf Coast with biblical flooding Andrew Freedman • View photos It’s the tropical storms you think are dead but come back to life that you need to be truly afraid of. One such storm, soon to intensify into Tropical Storm Harvey, is poised to pick up copious amounts of moisture from the bathtub warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before making a slow-speed collision with the low-lying Texas coast this weekend. SEE ALSO: Exxon played us all on global warming, new study showsLike the meteorological equivalent of a White Walker from Game of Thrones, Harvey had previously been a named storm that dissipated as it crossed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula earlier this week. The storm has the potential to drop colossal amounts of rain from Corpus Christi, Texas to Lafayette, Louisiana, with the flood-prone city of Houston in the middle of the threat zone. Rainfall totals could exceed 20 or even 30 inches in some places, since the storm is expected to meander along the Texas coast once it makes landfall, moving less than 500 miles from Friday through Monday morning. Such a scenario, with a juiced up tropical storm or hurricane making landfall and stalling out, is the stuff of nightmares for flood forecasters, since the number one killer from tropical cyclones is inland flooding. View photos Tropical Depression Harvey on Aug. 23, 2017.Image: NOAA/NNVLParts of Louisiana are still recovering after record rains caused widespread damage in 2016, making this storm particularly unwelcome. The National Weather Service is raising the alarm with its flood outlooks, warning of „life-threatening flooding” in coastal Texas and western Louisiana in particular. As of Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center expected Harvey to come ashore as a strong tropical storm, though if it intensifies enough it could become a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour, before hitting the coast. Regardless of the category, which depends on the storm’s winds, the real threat from Harvey, will be water, both at the coast with storm surge flooding, as well as inland, with heavy — potentially epic —rains. View image on Twitter
Across much of the U.S. and around the world, extreme rainfall events are becoming more common as the world warms and the atmosphere holds more moisture. Scientists expect that as human-caused global warming continues and the atmosphere holds more moisture, tropical storms and hurricanes will drop heavier rains.
„Dogger, Fisher, German Bight” Shipping Forecast celebrates 150 years of weather predictionsSarah Knapton View photos The Shipping Forecast first stopped The Shipping Forecast is celebrating 150 years of continual weather predictions today, but sailors be warned, new statistics show that one in seven gales is a false alarm.The first gale warning was issued following a violent storm in 1859 but it was not until1867 that storm warnings at sea were issued on a regular basis and they have continued ever since.When it began, the forecast predicted around 75 per cent of strong winds correctly, but could only get the direction of the gales correct around one third of the time. Today, The Met Office gets the wind direction correct 80 per cent of the time, but has a false alarm rate of around 15 per cent, meaning roughly one in seven storms will not happen.View photos The forecast helps rescue agencies predict when they will be needed Credit: ApexHowever overall forecasts, which also include wave heights, visibility and weather, are 93 per cent accurate, thanks to the Met Office’s new supercomputer which takes in data from all around the world. The forecast is read on BBC Radio 4 each morning, although the Maritime and Coastguard Agency receive three updates throughout the day. Calls for a regular shipping forecast were first made following the Royal Charter storm off the coast of North Wales in 1859 which led to the deaths of 800 people and the loss of 133 ships, double the amount of tragedies usually recorded in an entire year.Following the disaster, Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy persuaded the Board of Trade to allow him to start storm warnings in a bid to prevent similar occurrences and regular forecasts began eight years later.View photosAn engraving of The Royal Charter sinking The maritime storm warnings evolved into what is now today’s shipping forecast and eventually led to the daily Met Office weather forecasts.Peter Dawes, Lifesaving Services Manager for the RNLI said: “The Met Office Shipping Forecast is an excellent source of information, and a vital tool in helping people make critical safety decisions at the coast and at sea.“We urge everyone to check the weather before heading to the coast, in order to stay safe.”Not only have the number of forecasts we produced increased but so has our accuracy.Met Office Advisor, Penny Tranter, said: “The Met Office is highly regarded internationally the experience we have providing severe weather warnings for over 150 years is unprecedented. We are trusted for good reason.”