Hurricane Harvey is quickly gaining strength as it moves in toward Texas, having upgraded from a Tropical Depression to a Category 2 Hurricane in less than a day. At this rate, the storm is predicted to become a Category 3 Hurricane by the time it hits Texas’s Gulf Coast, which would make it the strongest hurricane to hit the US in nearly 12 years.
Harvey is forecast to hit Texas late Friday night (Aug. 25) or early Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. It will then move toward the middle of the state through the weekend. Residual rainfall from the hurricane could continue through Wednesday.
Harvey is positioned to hit Texas’s middle coast, making landfall near the city of Corpus Christi. If it becomes a Category 3 storm by the time it strikes land, Corpus Christi could experience winds approaching 115 mph. The rainfall around Corpus Christi and the expanding coastal area could reach up to 35 inches.
A “Storm Surge Warning” is in effect for the greater Texan coastal area, which can expect heavy rains, high winds, and potential flooding. Harvey is expected to move inland over the weekend, losing strength as it moves closer to the center of the state but continuing to carry heavy rains throughout southeast Texas. The storm could also bring heavy rains—and potential floods—to New Orleans and other cities on Louisiana’s coast.