Hurricane Irma Roars To Category 3 In Atlantic, Forecast To Reach ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Cat 4 Strength

The forecasts of a busy Atlantic hurricane season are proving accurate.

As Harvey weakened to a depression, a new hurricane, Irma, fired up in the central Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday.

As of 5 p.m. ET, Irma was rated a Category 3 “major” hurricane with 115-mph winds, and is forecast to roar into an “extremely dangerous” hurricane over the next several days, with winds of 140 mph. (A “major” hurricane is one of Category 3 strength or above.)

Irma was located about 1,780 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and was moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph.

It poses no immediate threat to land and its eventual track remains highly uncertain as is typical for storms this far out to sea.

Irma will take about a week to trek west across the Atlantic Ocean, AccuWeather said.

Possibilities range from a landfall on the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean to the Carolinas and Bermuda — and everything in between, according to AccuWeather.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the hurricane center is also watching a separate area of disturbed weather in the western Gulf of Mexico, one that could spin up into a tropical depression or storm in the next five days.

“Development, if any, of this system is expected to be slow to occur as the low moves slowly northward,” the hurricane center said. “If this system does develop, it could bring additional rainfall to portions of the Texas and Louisiana coasts.”

And in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Lidia took aim on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. As of 5 p.m. ET, Lidia had winds of 65 mph and was located about 20 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for much of the Baja as well as the west coast of Mexico.

Lidia is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches across the Mexican states of Baja California Sur into Baja California and western Jalisco, with isolated maximum totals of 20 inches.

The rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Rescuers Start Block-By-Block Search Of Flooded Houston

Rescuers began a block-by-block search of tens of thousands of Houston homes Thursday, pounding on doors and shouting as they looked for anyone — alive or dead — who might have been left behind in Harvey’s fetid floodwaters, which have now heavily damaged more than 37,000 homes and destroyed nearly 7,000 statewide.

More than 200 firefighters, police officers and members of an urban search-and-rescue team fanned out across the Meyerland neighborhood for survivors or bodies. They yelled “fire department!” as they pounded with closed fists on doors, peered through windows and checked with neighbors. The streets were dry but heaped with soggy furniture, carpet and wood.

“We don’t think we’re going to find any humans, but we’re prepared if we do,” said District Chief James Pennington of the Houston Fire Department.

The confirmed death toll stood at 31, though it is expected to rise. But by midday, the temporary command center in a J.C. Penney parking lot had received no reports of more bodies from the searches, which are expected to take up to two weeks.

Unlike during Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in New Orleans, crews used GPS devices to log the homes they checked rather than spray painting neon X’s on the homes, which also avoided alerting potential thieves to vacant homes.

Elsewhere, the loss of power at a chemical plant set off explosions that prompted a public health warning. The blasts at the Arkema Inc. plant northeast of Houston also ignited a 30- to 40-foot flame and sent up a plume of acrid smoke that the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency initially described as “incredibly dangerous.”

FEMA later backed away from that statement, saying that Administrator Brock Long spoke out of an abundance of caution. An Environmental Protection Agency analysis of the smoke showed that it posed no immediate threat to public health, the agency said.

The French operator of the plant warned that up to eight more chemical containers could burn and explode as chemicals stored there degraded without refrigeration.

The latest statewide damage surveys revealed the staggering extent of the destruction. The figures from the Texas Department of Public Safety did not include the tens of thousands of homes with minor damage.

Rescues continued, as did the search for shelter among people made homeless by the storm. Emergency officials reported 32,000 people in shelters across Texas.

The Harris County FEMA director said the agency was looking at how to house people who have lost their homes to Harvey. The priority is to get them out of shelters and into some form of temporary housing, with hotels being one option, he said.

“Right now nothing is off the table,” Tom Fargione said Thursday. “This is a tremendous disaster in terms of size and scope. I want to get thinking beyond traditional methodologies you’ve seen in the past.”

As the water receded in the nation’s fourth-largest city, the threat of major damage from the storm shifted to a region near the Texas-Louisiana state line.

Beaumont, Texas, with a population of nearly 120,000, struggled with rising water. The city lost water service after its main pump station was overwhelmed by the swollen Neches River. That forced Baptist Beaumont Hospital to move patients to other facilities.

A steady stream of ambulances and helicopters arrived at the hospital to pick up the patients, some of whom already had been removed from flooded nursing homes. Hospital spokeswoman Mary Poole said other patients were able to be discharged.

The city’s second hospital, Christus St. Elizabeth, said it was using stored water and accepting only critical and emergency patients.

Some people who had not gotten the word were still arriving Thursday seeking medical attention, including J.D. Clark, who said he had a heart condition. He wanted medicine and water but was turned away. Clark said the landlord had turned off the power at his apartment complex.

“We’re trying to get up out of here,” said his wife, Regina Blackburn. “I’m trying to call for a hotel, but they won’t answer. We’re leaving. We’re getting out of Beaumont.”

That’s a challenge, though, because most of the highways out of the city are flooded.

Economists said the storm shut down everything from plastics plants to oil refineries to the Houston port — the second-busiest in the nation — which could affect the nation’s economy.

Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm, calculates that economic damage could shave between 0.3 and 1.2 percentage points off the nation’s economic growth in the July-September quarter. The economy had been expected to grow at an annual rate of about 3 percent from July through September.

Also Thursday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he would release 500,000 barrels of crude oil from an emergency stockpile in a bid to prevent gasoline prices from spiking in the wake of disruptions caused by Harvey.

As the floodwaters dropped, Houston public schools pushed back the start of classes by two weeks because of Harvey. The nation’s seventh-largest school district had been scheduled to open Monday, but classes will now resume Sept. 11.

Although it has been downgraded to a tropical depression, Harvey was still expected to dump heavy rain on parts of Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky through Friday. Forecast totals ranged from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters), with some places possibly getting up to a foot.

For much of the Houston area, the rain had passed. But with temperatures likely to climb in to the low 90s over the weekend, residents were warned about the dangers of heat exhaustion, especially for people who lost power or must toil outdoors.

Houston’s two major airports were slowly resuming full service. Limited bus and light rail service had also been restored, as well as trash pickup.

Harvey initially came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane in Texas on Friday, then went back out to sea and lingered off the coast as a tropical storm for days, inundating flood-prone Houston.

Harvey’s five straight days of rain totaled close to 52 inches, the heaviest tropical downpour ever recorded in the continental U.S.

Live Updates: Blasts at Plant in Crosby, Texas, Underscore Worries About Storm Damage

A series of small explosions shook a chemical plant northeast of Houston on Thursday and more blasts were expected, after floodwaters shut down the cooling systems that kept the chemicals stable. It was one of a host of new dangers emerging in the aftermath of Harvey, once a Category 4 hurricane, as floodwaters receded in many Houston neighborhoods and the storm moved through northeastern Louisiana and into Mississippi.

In a region dotted with chemical factories, oil refineries, natural gas plants, and other potential sources of combustion and toxins, the explosions at the Arkema plant near Crosby, Tex., underscore the worries that many people have about the lingering dangers that damage from the storm, which was downgraded to a tropical depression on Wednesday night, poses to the region’s infrastructure, economy and health.

It appeared that the health and safety risk from the plant was limited; Houston Methodist San Jacinto hospital in Baytown treated 21 first responders for chemical exposure, decontaminating them and then discharging them. The area within 1.5 miles of the plant was evacuated, but it is sparsely populated.

The plant produces chemicals called organic peroxides, and Rich Rennard, an Arkema executive, said that smoke from the blasts was “noxious,” an irritant to the lungs, eyes and possibly skin, but he would not say whether it could be called toxic. A total of eight containers at the plant lost refrigeration and can be expected to detonate as the chemicals in them decompose, officials said, but they could not predict how soon others would explode.

In Beaumont, about 70 miles east-northeast of Houston, flooding shut down the system that supplies running water to the entire city on Thursday, prompting a hospital to evacuate. With most roads in and out of the area under water, and the Neches River still rising, federal officials are trying to get enough bottled water into Beaumont to prevent a health crisis.

In Houston, officials ordered mandatory evacuation of areas around the Barker Reservoir, as flooding from that overwhelmed basin, and the nearby Addicks Reservoir, continued to pour into neighborhoods on the city’s western edge. In other parts of the city, floodwaters receded, exposing countless losses and new hazards, like ruined and abandoned vehicles blocking roads, damaged electrical systems, and mold.

Here is more on the latest:

Local officials said there were at least 38 deaths in Texas so far that were related or suspected to be related to the storm. Officials throughout southeast Texas said they were prepared for that number to inch higher as floodwaters began to recede.

Vice President Mike Pence and other cabinet officials were visiting the Corpus Christi, Tex., area on Thursday to meet with storm survivors.

President Trump plans to donate $1 million of his own money to help storm victims in Texas and Louisiana, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Thursday afternoon.

Tom Bossert, the White House official spearheading the administration’s response to the storm, on Thursday estimated that 100,000 houses in Texas and Louisiana have been damaged or destroyed — and said Mr. Trump will seek billions in aid in the coming weeks.

More than 30,000 people remained in shelters in the region, and Houston fire officials said they would begin the painstaking search of homes in the city to make sure no one was left behind. The process could take up to two weeks. “The shelter mission is the biggest battle that we have right now,” said Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA also reported that 95,745 people in Texas have been approved for emergency assistance, which includes financial help with rent, repairs and lost property. The agency has so far disbursed about $57 million to citizens in Texas.

The police in Houston rescued 18 people overnight, Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Twitter on Thursday morning. The mayor also said there had been no arrests or citations for breaking the city’s curfew for the second night in a row.

What went wrong at the chemical plant?

The plant’s owner, Arkema, said the site had been without power since Sunday and the water was six feet deep in some areas. But the organic peroxides stored there need to be refrigerated or they become unstable. With a storage warehouse warming up, the crew transferred the chemicals to diesel-powered refrigerated trailers.

Then the backup generators designed to keep refrigeration units operating were flooded as well. The units apparently warmed to the point where the chemicals exploded overnight.

The chemicals, which are used in making plastic and other materials, start to decompose as they warm, which creates more heat and can quickly lead to a rapid, explosive reaction. Some organic peroxides also produce flammable vapors as they decompose.

Mr. Rennard said that Arkema employees had no plans to enter the site until the water had significantly receded, given the instability of the chemicals there. The blasts were not expected to affect chemicals in other parts of the plant, he said, and the company was able to monitor the status of the containers remotely.

“We’re not going to put anyone in harm’s way to try to restore refrigeration,” he said.

Pence: ‘The American people are with you.’

Vice President Mike Pence and several cabinet officials arrived to a sunny, hot and humid Corpus Christi, Tex., around midday on Thursday before heading to nearby Rockport to speak with victims of the storm.

“The American people are with you,” he told a crowd in Rockport, outside a church that was damaged by the storm. “We are here today, we will be here tomorrow and we will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than ever before.”

About 21,000 federal workers have been mobilized in response to the storm and Congress is expected to debate passage of a multibillion-dollar emergency aid package in the coming weeks.

Mr. Pence said that he had spoken with Mr. Trump by phone from Air Force Two earlier in the day and asked if he had any words for survivors of the storm. “He just said ‘Just tell them we love Texas,’” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. Trump, who visited the area earlier in the week, is expected to return to Texas on Saturday. Mr. Pence was joined in Texas by the secretaries of homeland security, energy, transportation, veterans affairs and labor.

Beaumont is running out of water, and a hospital is evacuating.

With a record-breaking flood sweeping through Beaumont, taps there ran dry Thursday morning, and officials there said they could not predict when homes and businesses in the city of almost 120,000 residents would have running water again.

The city manager, Kyle Hayes, said at a midday news conference that he would not be able to assess flood damage to the city’s water pumps, or give a timeline for fixing them, until water began to recede, which he said would happen no earlier than Saturday. He added that the city was working on setting up bottled water distribution centers.

Lack of drinking water poses a survival risk for people trapped in the city, and Mr. Long, in his morning update, said that it was of particular concern to FEMA, which would look to distribute water. But Harvey dropped 47 inches of rain in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area, and most roads into the cities remain impassable, making relief shipments of bottled water difficult.

Executives at Baptist Beaumont Hospital decided to evacuate because of the water shutdown. The hospital began to transport most of its 193 patients by ambulance and helicopter to hospitals outside the city, and to discharge those who could safely go home, said Mary Poole, a hospital spokeswoman.

Christus Southeast Texas-St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont decided not to evacuate, but until the city water supply resumes, it will only admit new patients who need critical or emergency care. The hospital, which has 256 patients, told nonessential employees not to report for work.

Beaumont’s water comes from two pumping plants, a primary one on the Neches River, and a secondary one drawing from wells north of the city, Mr. Hayes said. But both were inundated, and by Thursday morning, the pumps were out of action. The Beaumont Police Department posted pictures of the flooded main pumping station on its Facebook account.

City officials made it clear that Beaumont was in the early stages of dealing with the flooding, and did not provide details of the number of dead, or how many people had been rescued or were in shelters.

Our reporter Rick Rojas is in Beaumont, his hometown. Read more about his journey home here.

‘So much despair,’ one evacuee says.

At the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston’s main shelter, evacuees have been learning of deaths from social media and from watching news reports on an enormous projection screen.

“Part of me wants to just break down crying because it’s so much despair,” said Billy Cartwright, a construction worker who has been staying at the convention center since Monday. “I feel pretty grateful, but part of me’s pretty sad. It’s pretty bad.”

Mr. Cartwright, 44, said he believed he had lost all of his possessions to the flood.

“I try to think that when all of this passes, just like any other tragedy, America always bounces back,” he said.

The flooding threat has not passed.

The rain continued across the far eastern part of Texas and the western part of Louisiana on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, even as the storm lost power as it moved northeast.

Flash flood warnings were in effect in East Texas, the lower Mississippi Valley and in the western parts of the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, where the storm was expected to spread over the next several days. Some rivers in southeastern Texas remained at record levels Thursday — some were still rising and setting more records — as the deluge made its way downstream, and swollen reservoirs released some water into streams.

Near the Louisiana border, the Neches River at Beaumont rose on Thursday to more than five feet above its previous record — more than 14 feet above flood stage — and it was projected to keep rising through Friday. Beaumont has received about 47.35 inches of rain since the storm first arrived.

At two flood gauges in the suburbs west of Houston, the Buffalo Bayou remained two to three feet above the old record for the fourth straight day, nine to 11 feet above flood stage, and it was not expected to drop for several days. Southwest of Houston, the Brazos River at Richmond broke its flooding record on Thursday, reaching 10 feet above flood stage, and was not expected to crest until Friday.

A Houston school district delays reopening as Austin offers help.

After initially saying schools would open on Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Houston Independent School District announced Thursday that classes would not resume until Monday, Sept. 11. Superintendent Richard Carranza said more than 10 percent of the city’s schools sustained water damage or had lost power.

Families have reported that they lost hundreds of dollars’ worth of new school supplies and clothing in the storm. The district also announced, via Twitter, that uniform rules would be relaxed through January. Houston public school students will have access to three free meals per day, regardless of family income, for the duration of the 2017-2018 school year.

Also on Thursday, officials in Austin announced plans to open their classrooms to potentially hundreds of displaced students whose families have fled there to move in with relatives or seek refuge in shelters.

“We want them to know we have their back,” Mayor Steve Adler said. “They’re welcome in our town and there is a place for them in our schools.”

School officials have been circulating through shelters to advise families from storm-battered southeast Texas that their children will be able to enroll in Austin schools as early as this week, said Paul Cruz, superintendent of the Austin Independent School District.

At least 100 students staying in the shelters have signaled their interest in attending. The students are also being invited to attend any of the district’s Friday night football games, he said.

Port Aransas is trying to get back on its feet.

When 120 m.p.h. winds lashed this beach town where Hurricane Harvey made landfall, they smashed some things and spared others. Houses were pushed off their foundations, while shacks next door were spared. Big trees stood as small trees toppled.

At Spanky’s Liquor on the main street, the windows shattered, the walls collapsed. “The roof? It’s about 100 feet that way,” the owner, Tom Hamilton, said as he paused from sweeping the pieces and pointed toward a house with a boat capsized against the porch and a surfboard lodged in a tree.

But miraculously, nearly every bottle of liquor was still intact on the shelves, now standing under an open sky.

On Wednesday — the first full day Mr. Hamilton had been allowed back to his store — a crew of employees packed boxes of bottles in the sun.

Like many on the island, Mr. Hamilton and his staff were beginning the long, often quiet ordeal of loss and recovery. Christy Lambert pulled out her phone to find a photo of her home in Aransas Pass, just across the bay. There was nothing left but a single kitchen wall. Most of her possessions had blown away.

“When I saw it, I cried, I cried for hours,” said Ms. Lambert, who fled the storm and returned Monday.

“I don’t really have anything but a few things I packed and $40,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to come back from that, but as long as I can keep working, I’ll be O.K.”

Legal aid lawyers are preparing for more cases.

Lawyers for the poor in Texas are expecting more cases in the wake of the storm, on matters including the denial of disaster relief claims by FEMA and landlord-tenant disputes.

David Hall, executive director of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, said his office, which is based in Austin, expects to handle an additional 15,000 client matters this year, on top of the 20,000 to 25,000 client cases it usually opens each year, and to field a 1,000 calls a day related to damage.

Live Updates : Waters Still Rising as Storm Pummels Region for 6th Day

With rivers still rising, and emergency workers still rescuing soaked and frightened people in southeast Texas who have lost nearly all they own, officials counseled patience on Tuesday, warning that conditions for many residents will not improve any time soon.

The slow-moving, record-shattering Harvey, now a tropical storm, pummeled the Houston region for a sixth straight day and began to batter southwest Louisiana. With hundreds of thousands of people under evacuation orders, shelters filled to bursting with people who craved some news about the safety of their loved ones and the state of their homes.

For now, the city’s focus “will continue to be on rescue,” and not on damage assessment — much less recovery — Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a news conference.

Here’s the latest:

The National Weather Service said Tuesday that Harvey has now set a record for total rainfall from a single tropical cyclone in the continental United States, with two weather stations in Texas reporting total rainfall over 48 inches.

Local officials said there were 13 deaths in Texas so far that were storm-related or suspected to be storm-related. Officials in Houston confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Sgt. Steve Perez, 60, died while driving to duty on Sunday.

The Houston Police Department has rescued more than 3,500 people from flooding since the storm began, Chief Art Acevedo said on Tuesday, up from about 2,000 a day earlier. The city fire chief, Samuel Peña, said his department had performed more than 400 rescues. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office did not have an updated figure on Tuesday, but said it was considerably higher than the roughly 2,200 rescues it reported on Monday.

President Trump is visiting Texas, having arrived in Corpus Christi before traveling to Austin, the state capital.

More rain is expected through Friday.

Parts of Houston have already been inundated by more than 40 inches, and totals could exceed 50 inches there and 20 inches in southern Louisiana. With sustained winds near 45 miles per hour, the storm is not expected to weaken until its center moves further inland early Wednesday.

As for the record rainfall, a station at Clear Creek, near Interstate 45 southeast of Houston, measured 48.64 inches of rain since Harvey began, and one at Mary’s Creek in Pearland, a suburb, recorded 49.32 inches. The amount of 48.00 inches was recorded in Medina, Tex., during Amelia, a tropical storm in 1978.

Weather service officials noted that storm is not over and that those numbers may soon surpass the overall United States record for total rainfall from a single cyclone. In Hawaii during Hurricane Hiki in 1950, 52.00 inches of rain were recorded at a ranger station on Kauai.

How much rain is that where you live? Check your city or zipcode, via The Upshot.

Trump visits Texas.

Mr. Trump arrived in Corpus Christi on Tuesday for a briefing on relief efforts, and then headed to Austin for a tour of an emergency operations center and a briefing with state leaders.

“It’s a real team, and we want to do it better than ever before,” Mr. Trump said of the response effort during a meeting with officials from local, state and federal agencies in a Corpus Christi firehouse. “We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it.” Read more about his visit here.

A Houston officer died trying to get to work.

Officials confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Sgt. Steve Perez, of the Houston Police Department, died in floodwaters Sunday on his way to work.

Mr. Perez, 60, left his home around 4 a.m. on Sunday and spent at least 2.5 hours trying to make his way to work, Chief Art Acevedo said. After having not heard from Sergeant Perez, officials began searching for him on Monday. A dive team found his body early Tuesday morning,

“Unfortunately, in the darkness, Sergeant Perez drove onto an underpass,” Chief Acevedo said.

Long lines formed outside Houston’s main shelter.

In the early afternoon on Tuesday, scores of people waited under occasional raindrops, hoping to enter the George R. Brown Convention Center, where more than 9,000 people had been taken in. A pile of wet American Red Cross blankets sat near the end of one line, where most people waited quietly.

On Sunday and Monday, evacuees had been able to enter the sprawling complex with few, if any, delays. The convention center was far thicker with people on Tuesday and, it appeared, more organized.

But there were some signs that the shelter was growing more strained. Some people set up bedding in the main corridor — an area that had been mostly empty a day earlier — and said they had moved from the increasingly crowded main dormitory.

Nathan Malbrue, who was sitting on the edge of an inflatable mattress, said he was not bothered by the growing crowd. He said he was in the hallway, near a medical station, because of a heart condition. “Just bring everybody in,” he said. “This is a big building.”

But Cora Watson, 58, feared that the convention center would be overwhelmed. “Move them to hotels or something,” she said, her voice barely audible.

A levee breach threatens a village near Houston.

A levee designed to protect the community of Columbia Lakes, 40 miles southwest of Houston, from the Brazos River was breached Tuesday morning, Brazoria County officials said.

Columbia Lakes is a small resort village with a country club and golf course, and is surrounded by levees. Residents were ordered to “GET OUT NOW!!” according to a Twitter message, although many had already left after a mandatory evacuation order was issued Sunday.

Tom MacNeil, an owner of a real estate brokerage in the town, said that residents who were still there told him the breach occurred in a levee alongside a creek that flows into the Brazos. Because the Brazos is rising, the creek backed up and poured through two low spots on the levee. The residents shored up the low spots and there was no water in the streets, Mr. MacNeil said.

But the National Weather Service has forecast that the Brazos, currently just above flood stage at 30 feet, will rise another few feet by Wednesday and go over the levees, which are at 32 feet.

“That’s the scary part we’re watching for,” Mr. MacNeil said.

Reservoirs are reaching their capacity in Houston, too.

Water rose to the top of an emergency spillway at a major flood-control reservoir west of downtown Houston on Tuesday morning, threatening to add to flooding in the area.

Levels at the Addicks reservoir dam read slightly more than 108 feet, the height at which water should overtop the spillway at the dam’s northern end. But officials said observers had so far seen no sign of water going over the structure.

“We do expect it to happen,” said Mike Sterling, lead water manager for Army Corp of Engineers’ Southwest Division. Efforts to release water through the dam’s gates have not kept the reservoir level from rising.

Mr. Sterling said that most of the overflow should enter drainage ditches and eventually flow into Buffalo Bayou, which passes through downtown Houston. But rising water is putting several neighborhoods north of the reservoir, including Twin Lakes, Eldridge Park and Tanner Heights, at risk of more flooding.

Levels at another nearby reservoir, Barker, are increasing as well and its spillway may overtop soon, Corps officials say.

And in a cruel paradox, the city also has to worry about having enough water. Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant, one of three plants that supply water to the city, is flooded. While the system is still working, even with much of its equipment underwater, city officials are worried about their ability to keep it running.

After Harvey, Two More Tropical Storms, Irma And Jose, Aren’t Far Behind

Hurricane Harvey continues to cause widespread flooding and damages across Southeast Texas and Louisiana, and before the system has a chance to move on, two more tropical systems are brewing.

The next possible tropical storm is off the coast of North Carolina and what the National Hurricane Center is currently calling “Potential Tropical Storm Ten.”

Harvey was able to rapidly intensify into a Category 4 hurricane because it moved across exceptionally warm waters and experienced no wind shear.

The storm system on the East Coast has more of an uphill battle. The warmer waters are there, but there’s a lot of shear, which could rip the storm apart before it has a chance to form.

Current forecast models give the storm about a 50-50 chance to become Tropical Storm Irma. Whether it forms or not, North Carolina are still under tropical storm warnings and can expect heavy rain and gusty winds.

Another system, currently referred to as Invest 93L, is just off the coast of Africa, and that storm could become Tropical Storm Jose before the end of the week.

Invest 93L has become better organized in the past day or so, and it keeps growing and intensifying as it moves across the Atlantic.

Large Storm To Remain Offshore Of Atlantic Canada, Three-Metre Swells Expected

HALIFAX – The Canadian Hurricane Centre says a large storm system that’s tracking towards Atlantic Canada is expected to remain well offshore, but up to three-metre swells are expected in some areas of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Forecasters say it is now less likely that potential tropical cyclone ten will become the season’s next named storm — Irma — as it has not organized itself and is struggling to become a tropical storm.

But it is nevertheless expected to develop into an intense post-tropical or extra-tropical system as it tracks northeastward across southern Canadian waters on Wednesday and Thursday.

Most of the rain and strongest winds are expected to remain offshore, but some rain and gusty northeast winds could brush Nova Scotia and southeastern Newfoundland on Thursday.
Up to three metre swells are also expected on those provinces’ southern coasts on Thursday.

NASA Sees Sanvu Strengthen To A Tropical Storm

Tropical Depression Sanvu has strengthened into a tropical storm in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered temperature data on the storm’s cloud tops using infrared light.

The Atmospheric Infrared or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared data on Tropical Storm Sanvu Aug. 29 at 0335 UTC (Aug. 28 at 11:35 p.m. EDT). Infrared data provides temperature information to scientists. Cloud top temperatures are an important factor when it comes to determining the strength of storms. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger the storms.

The image showed that the area of coldest cloud tops had expanded since the previous day. Coldest temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Those storms were around the center of circulation and in a thick feeder band of thunderstorms extending southwest of the center. NASA research has shown that storms with cloud tops that cold, reached high into the troposphere and had the ability to generate heavy rain. The image did reveal that the tropical storm was being affected by southwesterly vertical wind shear as clouds are being pushed northeast of the center.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Aug. 28 the center of Sanvu was located near 24.4 degrees north latitude and 146.5 degrees east longitude. That puts Sanvu’s center about 315 nautical miles east of Iwo To Island, Japan. Maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). Sanvu was moving to the north-northwest at 15 knots (17.2 mph/27.7 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Sanvu to move in a northeasterly direction and intensify to typhoon status by Aug. 31, before weakening again.