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#HARVEY: Sharon Ray explains how Hurricane Harvey got so bad, so fast

Sharon Ray explains harvey.jpg
Posted at 5:39 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 18:42:18-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the mid-Texas coast since Celia in 1970.

Harvey became a tropical storm on Aug. 17, 2017, and then weakened to a tropical depression as he moved east across the Caribbean Sea to the Yucatán Peninsula.

Harvey strengthened on Aug. 22 from a tropical depression to a major hurricane in just 40 hours, as he tracked to the northwest through the Gulf.

Just before making landfall, he strengthened to a Category 4 storm during the evening of Aug. 25 and made landfall at 10 p.m., producing sustained 130 mph winds with gusts up to 152 mph near Rockport and Fulton. He also produced a storm surges of up to 12 feet.

From Aug. 25-27, the mid-Texas coast saw 15-25 inches of rain in Aransas, San Patricio, Refugio and Victoria counties, but totals of up to 60 inches fell in East Texas.

Harvey went through rapid intensification just before making landfall, which means at least a 35-mph increase in wind speeds in 24 hours.

Very warm water, excessive ocean-heat content, and low wind shear are the main ingredients for rapid intensification.

We often have little time to prepare when a storm is approaching, so it's best to be prepared and have a plan well ahead of the storm and stay informed.

You can go to for updated information on tropical systems, along with links on how to become better prepared.