Tropical Storm Harvey expected to become major hurricane

Tropical Storm Harvey reformed in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday and is rapidly gaining strength. The National Hurricane Center is now calling the storm to become a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall. Category 3 is major hurricane status meaning winds of 111 mph or greater.

The system weakened before reaching tropical storm status early Thursday and was expected to make landfall Friday evening, early Saturday morning as a Category 1 storm in Corpus Christi, Texas but with warm waters and low shear, the storm quickly intensified Thursday morning.

It's expected to bring 10 to 15 inches of rain, and some rainfall totals could reach up to 25 inches on to the Texas coast. Rainfall amounts increase exponentially when the storm moves at a slower speed, whereas Harvey has been moving around 10 mph and could slow down once making landfall. Major, possibly catastrophic flooding could occur across parts of coastal Texas and Louisiana.

A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande, with a storm surge watch stretching north to High Island, on Galveston Bay

Harvey could be the first hurricane to hit Texas since 2008 when Hurricane Ike smashed the coast near Galveston causing widespread destruction. 

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