MIAMI (AP)-- The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 4 storm.
HOUSTON (AP)-- The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm.
The center says Harvey has maximum wind speeds of 120 mph (193.11 kph) as the powerful storm churns off the Texas coast. Forecasters are labeling it a "life-threatening storm."
The storm quickly grew Thursday from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane, and then developed into a Category 2 storm early Friday. By Friday afternoon, it had become a Category 3 storm. It's forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday.
The slow-moving storm is fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters. Forecasters are labeling it a "life-threatening storm" with landfall predicted late Friday or early Saturday between Port O'Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile (48-kilometer) stretch of coastline about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi.
The National Hurricane Center says weather conditions are deteriorating along the Texas coast as Hurricane Harvey nears landfall. Water levels are rising and winds are already blowing with tropical storm force.
The center said Friday afternoon that the hurricane is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and wind to portions of the Texas coast.
National Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says, "The tropical storm force winds have already commenced on the Gulf Coast. You've essentially run out of time for outdoors preparations. You need to find a safe place and you need to stay there."
The center says sustained winds were still holding at 110 mph (177 kph). Forecasters have said it will intensify and make landfall Friday evening or early Saturday as a likely Category 3 storm, meaning sustained winds topping 115 mph (185.07 kph).
The center says swells generated by the hurricane are already affecting the coasts in Texas, Louisiana and northeast Mexico, and those swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions