Frank's Weather Or Not: An Alicia Reset?

HOUSTON – The tropical trouble expected in the Gulf later this week, and the new model runs suggesting a path at Texas, have lots of folks wondering if this is Alicia Part 2?

For those of you who don't remember, Alicia in 1983 formed on a cold front in August (just like this one promises to do in July) and was steered by High Pressure toward the Texas coast.  On that Monday, August 15th at 5pm the NHC issued bulletins for a 45mph tropical storm.

By Early morning Thursday, August 18th a Category 3 hurricane was striking the Texas Coast with a 10' tide and recorded 102mph winds (in Galveston).


The Flagship hotel was where the Pleasure Pier carnival rides are today. Other damage photos show houses destroyed, trailer homes gone, and barges tossed in the Ship Channel:

As the storm moved through Houston, wind grabbed gravel on top of downtown buildings and pummeled windows causing shards of glass to fall to the streets below:

Of course, Alicia occurred almost 40 years ago so the computer models weren't nearly what they are today. Here's the model runs with the storm closing in:

The last run clusters for the northerly turn toward Galveston...and here is the actual track:

What is important to remember meteorologically about Alicia is how quickly the storm intensified. At 2pm on August 17th we had a strong Tropical Storm of 70mph and in just over 30 hours we had a Category 3 115mph Hurricane on the coast. In 2017, Harvey went from a Tropical Depression on Wednesday morning to a Category 4 Hurricane in Rockport by Friday night! So while it's too early to tell just what we'll have in the Gulf this week, everyone is pretty confident that something tropical is going to show up and with the models trending our way, the take away is BE READY. You can visit our hurricane page here

Could this be another Hurricane Alicia?

Never. Say. Never.


Read the entire Alicia report here (where I got my pics and info). And if you have any questions for me, feel free to email me.

About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.