LATEST: Harvey officially upgraded to hurricane in Gulf of Mexico

Update, 10 a.m. Thursday

Tropical Storm Harvey is quickly strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday, and it could be a “major hurricane” when it approaches Texas.

Harvey is forecast to become a hurricane Thursday. Its maximum sustained winds could reach 115 mph over the next 36 hours, making it a Category 3 hurricane, according to the Hurricane Center. 

At 10 a.m. Thursday, Harvey was located about 365 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph. It was moving north-northwest at about 10 mph and is expected to turn toward the northwest later today.

Harvey is forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday and stall near the mid-Texas coast through the weekend. It is expected to bring 12 to 20 inches of rain to parts of Texas, with isolated amounts of 30 inches possible in some areas. 

The Hurricane Center urged Texans in the storm's path to make preparations to "protect life and property" by Thursday evening.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for parts of Texas.

Heavy rainfall from the system is still the biggest threat to Louisiana. Southwest and central Louisiana could see 5 to 12 inches of rain from the system, the Hurricane Center said. In Baton Rouge and New Orleans, rainfall estimates were between 4 and 6 inches on Thursday morning.

Original story

Tropical Storm Harvey continued to strengthen early Thursday and is expected to become a hurricane by Friday as it approaches the Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning.

At 7 a.m. Thursday, Harvey’s maximum sustained winds had increased to near 60 mph. It was located about 380 miles southeast of Port O’Connor, Texas, and it was traveling north-northwest near 10 mph.

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A hurricane warning was issued for part of the Texas coast from Port Mansfield to Matagorda.

Harvey is expected to bring heavy rain to southern Louisiana after making landfall in Texas. The system could bring between 4 and 10 inches of rain to the region, with higher local amounts possible.

Alek Krautmann, meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Baton Rouge/New Orleans office in Slidell, warned that if Harvey's feeder bands set up over the region, rainfall across central and eastern parts of Louisiana could be much higher.

"We'll just have to see exactly where this path will take it," Krautmann said on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center also predicts at least some risk for tropical storm force winds — sustained winds greater than 39 mph — across most of the rest of the state through the weekend.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' office has encouraged residents to go to getagameplan.org and download the Get A Game Plan app for storm preparedness tips.