By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 20,2017, 3:18:58PM,EDT
Harvey showed signs of regeneration on Sunday and may become a tropical depression or storm at any time into Tuesday morning.Harvey will continue to track toward Central America with heavy rainfall, gusty thunderstorms and rough seas into Tuesday.
Harvey first developed on Thursday afternoon east of the Windward Islands and became the eighth named tropical system of the 2017 Atlantic season.
Harvey encountered strong wind shear and dry air after crossing the Windward Islands, which caused the system to degenerate into a tropical rainstorm late Saturday evening.
Wind shear is the changing of speed and direction of winds at different layers of the atmosphere. Strong wind shear can shred apart mature tropical storms or hurricanes.
The most likely path of this system is west-northwest toward Central America into Tuesday morning. This track will take Harvey very close to the coast of Honduras.
The first round of regeneration and strengthening is likely to continue prior to making landfall in Central America.
Harvey was moving away from the influence of the large land mass and mountains of South America and the mountains of Hispaniola.
"If Harvey can remain far enough off the coast, then it will have more more time and room to re-intensify, which could allow it to again become a tropical depression or storm," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Kottlowski said.
The full extent of impacts across Central America will depend on the future strength of the system.
Regardless of strength, heavy rain and gusty winds will be likely for parts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and southeastern Mexico early this week.
"From 75 to 125 mm (3 to 5 inches) of rain will fall with local amounts topping 150 mm (6 inches) along the path of Harvey," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.
Bathers in the area should use extreme caution as the number and strength of rip currents will be on the rise until Harvey has moved well inland.
Areas that have heavy rain may be faced with dangerous flooding and mudslides across the higher terrain. Gusty winds could snap weak tree limbs.
Harvey will also threaten coastal flooding to areas from northern Honduras to Belize and Quintana Roo, Mexico.
A second round of regeneration and strengthening may take place over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
If Harvey can survive its journey across the Yucatan Peninsula, it may emerge over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico at midweek.
At this point, a second round of regeneration and strengthening may occur prior to a final encounter in the Mexico mainland and possible impact as far north as Texas.
AccuWeather Hurricane Center
Are you ready for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season?
Where might clouds threaten to block the view of the Great American Eclipse?
"If Harvey can become a stronger system before making contact with the Yucatan Peninsula, a more northward path could also occur," Rossio said. "If Harvey remains weak, it will likely take a more southern track and make more contact with Central America and southern Mexico."
This extended contact would lead to an early and final demise of Harvey.
Aside from Harvey, there are several other tropical features in the Atlantic Basin worth watching over the next several days.
The next six to eight weeks represent the heart of the hurricane season.
As the peak of the hurricane season approaches, on Sept. 10, the likelihood of tropical storm and hurricane formation will increase due to warm water, shrinking dry air and diminishing winds.