With a major hurricane poised near the Texas coast and expected to stall for several days, it’s essentially a worst case-scenario for beach-side communities in the path of Hurricane Harvey.
While destructive winds and nearly unprecedented rainfall amounts will lash the Gulf Coast, a devastating storm surge will roar ashore Friday into Saturday, raising the sea up to 12 feet above normally-dry land.
Contrary to popular belief, a storm surge is not a wave of water, but rather the gradual rise of sea levels thanks to water blown by the storm, and due to an upward tidal bulge resulting from the storm’s exceptionally low pressure.
The most devastating impacts will be felt on the north side of the storm, particularly Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and the Matagorda Bay up toward Freeport and Lake Jackson. Communities on either side of this stretch will still experience moderate to major storm surge flooding.
Read more about Harvey’s storm surge from the Capital Weather Gang.