Harvey Expected To Strengthen As It Moves Towards Texas Coast

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Hurricane Harvey is expected to strengthen as it moves towards the Texas coast, and is expected to bring life-threatening and devastating flooding near the coast due to heavy rainfall and storm surge.

At 11 p.m. the center of the system was about 250 miles southeast of Corpus Christi.

Harvey is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph. This general motion is expected to continue with a decrease in forward speed during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Harvey will approach the middle Texas coast on Friday and make landfall Friday night or early Saturday. Harvey is then likely to stall near or just inland of the middle Texas coast through the weekend.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 85 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

While Harvey has changed little in strength over the past several hours, strengthening is expected to resume later tonight, and Harvey is expected to become a major hurricane by Friday before it reaches the middle Texas coast.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Port Mansfield to High Island Texas

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* South of Port Mansfield Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Port Mansfield to Sargent Texas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* North of Sargent to High Island Texas
* South of Port Mansfield Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* South of Port Mansfield Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* South of the Mouth of the Rio Grande to Boca de Catan Mexico

Harvey is expected to produce 10 to 15 inches of rain, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches, over the Texas coast through next Wednesday. During the same time period Harvey is expected to produce up to 9 inches of rain along its outer radius including parts of south, central, and eastern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley. Rainfall from Harvey may cause life-threatening flooding.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

Port Mansfield to the San Luis Pass could see 5 to 7 feet of surge. The San Luis Pass to High Island could see 2 to 4 feet of surge.

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the northeast of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

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