Near-Surface Maximum Winds During the Landfall of Hurricane Harvey


A mobile Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar was deployed in Hurricane Harvey and coordinated with the Corpus Christi, TX, WSR-88D radar to retrieve airflow during landfall. Aerodynamic surface roughness estimates and a logarithmic wind profile assumption were used to project the 500-m radar-derived maximum wind field to near the surface. The logarithmic wind assumption was justified using radiosonde soundings taken within the storm, while the radar wind estimates were validated against an array of StickNets. For the data examined here, the radar projections had root-mean-squared error of 3.9 m/s and a high bias of 2.3 m/s. Mesovorticies in Harvey's eyewall produced the strongest radar-observed winds. Given the wind analysis, Harvey was, at most, a Category 3 hurricane (50–58 m/s sustained winds) at landfall. This study demonstrates the utility of integrated remote and in situ observations in deriving spatiotemporal maps of wind maxima during hurricane landfalls.


© 2018. The Authors. cc-by-nc-nd


extreme winds, Hurricane Harvey, hurricanes, landfalling hurricanes, SMART radar, wind damage


Alford, A.A., Biggerstaff, M.I., Carrie, G.D., Schroeder, J.L., Hirth, B.D., & Waugh, S.M.. 2019. Near-Surface Maximum Winds During the Landfall of Hurricane Harvey. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(2).