HOLT, Fla., Aug. 24, 2017–Tropical Storm Harvey is gaining strength and predicted to make this season’s first hurricane landfall in the United States Friday.
The National Hurricane Center forecasts Harvey to rapidly strengthen to become a major hurricane within the next 36 hours. Major hurricanes are category 3 or higher.
The storm is expected to make landfall Friday night or early Saturday morning on the middle Texas coast. Hurricane warnings have been issued from Port Mansfield to Matagorda, Texas.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Harvey is moving toward the north-northwest near 10 mph.
Hurricane forecast models show Harvey stalling just inland over Texas before turning back out into the Gulf of Mexico and making a second landfall on the western Louisiana coast sometime next week.
Portions of the Texas coast will see life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and wind hazards, according to the NHC.
Storm surge flooding could reach heights of 6-to-10
feet above ground level at the coast between the north entrance of
Padre Island National Seashore and Sargent, Texas.
Heavy rainfall associated with Harvey is predicted between 12-to-20 inches, with isolated amounts as high as 30 inches, from Friday through early next week.