Hurricane Harvey increased in strength to Category 3, with winds of 125 mph Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.
With the 2 p.m. update by the NWS, Harvey is now considered a “major” hurricane, a label given to any storm Category 3 or stronger.
In its 4 p.m. advisory, the NHC said weather conditions deteriorated and water levels rose along the Texas coast as Hurricane Harvey approached land.
The hurricane is growing stronger as it travels northwesterly in the Gulf of Mexico at 10 mph. The NWS said the eye of the storm is expected to make landfall Friday night. Its forward momentum should slow down upon reaching shore, the NHC said.
Harvey is expected to be the first hurricane that severe to make landfall anywhere in the continental United States since Hurricane Wilma hit Florida in October 2005.
The NHC said in Friday’s 4 p.m. advisory that the center of the storm is about 60 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and 60 miles south of Port O’Connor.
A hurricane warning was in effect from Port Mansfield to Sargent along the Texas coast. There also was a tropical storm warning north of Sargent to High Island. Additionally, a storm surge warning was in effect for Port Mansfield to High Island.