Hurricane Harvey strengthens to Category 2

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hurricane Harvey is at a Category 2 level and intensifying rapidly. It is forecast to become a Category 3 storm in the next few hours before making landfall in Texas Friday night.

As a result, Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for Bastrop, Caldwell and Fayette counties. A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect for Travis, Williamson, Hays, Blanco, Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays and Lee counties.

On its current track, the storm will likely make landfall somewhere near Corpus Christi or Rockport, then slowly move northwest toward Central Texas, though it may stall before getting here. Either way, rain is expected in Central Texas this weekend, but the amounts are uncertain.

Track on Hurricane Harvey as of 8 a.m. Friday.

 

The exact path of the storm is still developing, but if it stalls over land it could create issues, including 10″ to 30″ of rain in some locations, with less expected the farther north and west from Harvey. In the KXAN viewing area, the maximum amount of rain could be 20″ or more.

Expected rainfall totals as of 8 a.m. Friday.
Computer model #1 (GFS) shows one possible outcome of accumulated rainfall from Harvey through Thursday next week.
Computer model #2 (European) shows a more conservative possible outcome of accumulated rainfall from Harvey through Wednesday next week.

 

It is wise to pay close attention to the weather forecasts in the coming days. Forecasts will become more precise as the storm gets more organized. Stay with the First Warning Weather team through the weekend.

The weather will be terrible along the Texas coast this weekend. Some dangerous flooding could compound the impacts of the tropical system after it reaches the coast.

Central Texas impacts

Local impacts from the potential tropical storm or hurricane could begin as early as Friday evening and continue through the weekend, depending on the speed and track of the storm’s remnants. A small wobble in the track of the storm will have a significant impact on county-by-county rainfall totals, but anywhere from 3″ to 20″ of rain is possible, with the higher amounts east of I-35, and the lighter amounts in the Hill Country.

Flash Flood Watch as of Friday morning.

 

Tropical Storm Warning in effect as of Friday morning.

 

There is a Hurricane Warning in effect for the Texas coast from Port Mansfield to Matagorda. And from south of Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande there is both a Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for north of Matagorda to High Island. There is a Storm Surge Warning from Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande and from north of San Luis Pass to High Island Texas.

Current watches and warnings along the coast as of Friday morning.

 

The strongest wind gusts are expected to peak in the Austin metro area by Saturday evening.

Forecast peak wind gusts in Central Texas from Harvey this weekend.

 

Scattered showers and storms on the outer circulation of Harvey are already occurring in Central Texas, though significant rain and flooding should not occur before this weekend.

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