DISCUSSION: As the world continued to watch former Major Hurricane Harvey gradually weaken since the earlier morning hours of Saturday, this did not mean in any way whatsoever that southern and southeastern Texas was "out of the woods yet." Even as Major Hurricane Harvey made landfall, within the first hour or so after its official landfall, it was quite stubborn to begin to weaken as there still continued to be an effective transfer of energy from the surface of the ocean near the immediate coastline of the far northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Therefore, for those people which chose to ride out the storm near the Corpus Christi metro area (and points to the north and northeast), this major hurricane continued to batter the immediate coastline and semi-inland areas within 20 to 30 miles of the point of land with prolonged sustained winds of 120 to 140 MPH before the storm finally began to lose steam as it slowly moved further inland.
In addition, besides the actual period of weakening which has now forced the system to be downgraded to Tropical Storm Harvey, there have been some very neat perspectives which have been captured by the GOES-16 satellite imager. One great example which is captured in both the image as well as the tweet attached above (courtesy of the NASA SPoRT Twitter account), is the combined 6-channel product which allows atmospheric scientists to clearly differentiate between newer, blossoming convection vs. older mature and/or soon-to-be dissipating convection. This differentiation can more easily and more effectively enable operational forecasters to make more timely and more accurate precipitation forecasts by being able to more quickly distinguish between newer and older convective cells with respect to what part of the typical convective life-cycle a particular convective cell is in (i.e., the cumulus or beginning stage, the mature stage, or the decaying stage).
As noted in the Tweet embedded above, the yellow-colored clouds indicate the presence of strong blossoming convection as opposed to the orange/red-colored cloud regions which indicate the presence of mature/dissipating convection. Thus, this product is revolutionary in terms of it being able to facilitate a smoother and more efficient recognition of different stages of convection within a larger system such as (but certainly not limited to) the currently weakening Tropical Storm Harvey. Just goes to show how a highly-advanced satellite imaging system can change the way we visualize and study the atmosphere and the world around us.
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz