Hurricane Harvey strengthened to a Category 2 storm off the Texas Gulf Coast early Friday morning, with winds of up to 105 miles per hour, and it is heading toward Corpus Christi at about 10 mph. By the time Harvey reaches the middle Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, it is expected to be a Category 3 hurricane, with winds of at least 111 mph, making it the first hurricane to strike Texas since Ike in 2008 and the first Category 3 storm to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Rita in 2005.
After Harvey makes landfall, it is expected to linger over Texas, dumping up to 35 inches of rain, bringing destructive waves, and causing a storm surge of up to 12 feet in areas, The National Hurricane Center said, warning that the rainfall from Harvey "will cause devastating and life-threatening flooding," and areas along the Texas coast are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation. It isn't usually the wind that kills people in hurricanes but the water, especially the storm surge, The Weather Channel reminds everyone. And if you are having a hard time imagining what a 12-foot storm surge would look like, Greg Postel has a visualization:
Harvey is already huge and dangerous, and its outer bands are already lashing Galveston. But it looks oddly peaceful, if massive, from space. Peter Weber