Near-Surface Maximum Winds During the Landfall of Hurricane Harvey

A. Addison Alford, Michael I. Biggerstaff, Gordon D. Carrie, John L. Schroeder, Brian D. Hirth, Sean M. Waugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-982
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2019


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


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