Hurricane Harvey, a Post Event Review Utilizing the ArcGIS Online Story Map (105)

Derek Giardino, National Weather Service West Gulf River Forecast Center, Fort Worth, Texas



Two days after the United States emerged from its first coast to coast total solar eclipse since 1918, Hurricane Warnings began for the Central Gulf Coast as Harvey formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Thirty-six hours later, Harvey went from a Category 2 to a Category 4 Hurricane bearing down on the Corpus Christi area. Harvey hit land Friday August 25, 2017 and did not leave the state of Texas for 6 days, leaving feet of rainfall and subsequent record flooding from Victoria, Texas to the Texas Louisiana border. In the end, Harvey was the costliest disaster in Texas history causing an estimated 125 billion dollars in damage and impacting hundreds of thousands of lives.

To properly summarize and assess the impacts, successes, and challenges from such a wide scale multi-hazard event it is necessary to utilize new technologies to interconnect disparate data within a common geospatial framework. One such tool is the ArcGIS Online platform, which blends the interactive mapping potential of ArcGIS with the multimedia platforms of video and imagery. The Hurricane Harvey post-event summary map ( provided a comprehensive account of the storms forecast and impacts from the perspective of the National Weather Service. This presentation will include examples of how a wide variety of highly technical and dissimilar data sets, such as the new satellite imagery from GOES-16 and observations of flooding from ground-based stream-gage networks, can be combined into an interactive post-analysis map that effectively conveys the impacts of the event. Finally, this allows makes complex and highly technical scientific data accessible and understandable to the public, and allows these users to see and interact with the data that both interests and impacts them directly.

Visit storymap at