Harvey has strengthened over the last 24 hours, from a Tropical Depression off the Yucatan Peninsula, to a Tropical Storm, to now Hurricane-force strength.
As of 1 p.m. Thursday, Harvey was boasting 80 MPH winds, and establishing a well-defined core, over the warm Gulf waters that are currently 86 degrees, which is what tropical systems of this magnitude thrive.
With Harvey now reaching hurricane strength, within the next 24-36 hours, Harvey is expected to continue its path northwest, making landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast, near Corpus Cristi, TX. Hurricane Warnings, as well as Storm Surge Warnings have been posted for the coastal regions of Texas to the western Louisiana coast.
With hurricane categorization, the category is based off wind speed, however, the biggest impact with this particular system is the flood threat. Hurricane Harvey is a Cat. 1, but is expected to intensity to a Cat. 3 by landfall within the next 24 to 36 hours. Aside from wind speeds nearing 115 MPH, through Sunday, there’s a potential for rainfall estimates to reach 15”+ with a few locations reaching 30” of rainfall. With this much rain, along with storm surge, this could be a life-threatening situation for anyone along the immediate coast line.
This would be the first major hurricane (defined as a Cat. 3 or higher) to make U.S. landfall since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
After making landfall late Friday into early Saturday as a Cat. 3, Harvey is expected to linger in southern Texas through at least Tuesday afternoon. Some weather models are bringing the remnants of Hurricane Harvey to New England by next Friday into Saturday, but with the evolving track and changes in weather patterns between today and next week, we will continue to keep an eye on the track. Stay tuned for the very latest updates on Hurricane Harvey on NECN / NBC Boston.