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Capital Weather Gang

From space, 'astounding' Hurricane Harvey looks like it's about to swallow all of Texas

By Andrew deGrandpre

August 25, 2017 at 6:29 AM

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The extremely dangerous storm is predicted to bring days of rain to southeast Texas starting on Aug. 25. (NASA/YouTube)

A brief-but-haunting video released by NASA on Thursday night shows Hurricane Harvey's powerful churn toward Central Texas, where the slow-moving storm is expected to throttle coastal communities with high winds and up to 25 inches of rain.

The footage was captured just after 6 p.m. by cameras aboard the International Space Station, not long after the tropical cyclone — aided by warm water and favorable winds — regenerated over the Gulf of Mexico. An astronaut on board, Marine Corps Col. Randy Bresnik, later tweeted two photos of the storm with a message of solidarity for those in its path:

"God Bless Texas, may you weather the storm as you always have!"

According to the National Hurricane Center, Harvey "is expected to be a major hurricane at landfall, bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind hazards to portions of the Texas coast."

Early Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center noted that the "dangerous" storm was strengthening and urged: "Preparations along the Texas coast should be rushed to completion."

The National Hurricane Center has called Harvey's sudden strengthening "astounding."

Harvey is expected to make landfall late Friday near Corpus Christi, striking as a Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds surpassing 111 miles per hour.

Related: [Texas in direct path of suddenly intensifying, ‘astounding’ Hurricane Harvey]

Separate footage from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration includes striking views from one of its WP-3D Orion "hurricane hunter" aircraft as it flies through the storm's eye.

A time-lapse video, recorded moments prior, shows the plane being jostled and pelted with rain before emerging in the storm's relatively calm epicenter.

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A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane hunter aircraft passed through Hurricane Harvey’s eye on Aug. 24, as the storm rapidly intensified on its way to the Texas coast. (Lt Kevin Doremus/NOAA)

Harvey emerged as full-fledged hurricane only Thursday afternoon and already is predicted to be the most powerful storm to hit the United States since Hurricane Wilma battered south Florida 12 years ago.

As the Capital Weather Gang reported, Harvey could dump up to 25 inches of rain — some isolated areas could see 35 inches — and result in massive, deadly flooding.

A big concern, meteorologists say, is the likelihood this storm will stall for four or possibly six days.

Corpus Christi has many low-lying areas and a barrier island. It's located in Nueces County, which is home to about 360,000 residents.

The surprise hurricane is poised to be the first major test of disaster response for the Trump administration, whose appointee to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency — William B. "Brock" Long — was confirmed in June.

Joel Achenbach, Steven Mufson and Jason Samenow contributed to this report, which has been updated.

Thia NOAA-NASA GOES Project satellite image taken at 1737 UTC on August 24, 2017 shows storm activity off the south east coast of the US. A major storm, Harvey, was upgraded to hurricane status on August 24, 2017, as it targeted hundreds of miles of coastline in Texas and Louisiana. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of a potential for "life threatening" floods from the storm, which was due to make landfall sometime on August 25, 2017.The NHC said the category one hurricane could hit land as a much more powerful category three, with winds of 130 miles (209 kilometers) per hour. / AFP PHOTO / NOAA-NASA GOES Project / Handout / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /NOAA-NASA GOES PROJECT/HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images
A traffic sign reminds motorists to prepare for Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Houston. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Harvey will become a major hurricane to hit the middle Texas coastline. (Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
William Hazzard loads water into his car in preparation for tropical weather on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Houston. Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to intensify over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the Texas coast Friday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Hundreds of sandbags are seen behind City of Brownsville workers as they shovel and sack Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, at Pct. 1 County Commissioner Sofia C Benavides and Pct. 2 County Commissioner Alex Dominguez warehouse along MagneTek Drive and 14th Street in Brownsville, Texas, in preparation of what is now the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)
Marina employees secure the boater's facility at the Corpus Christi Marina in preparation for Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Forecasters said a "life-threatening" storm surge along with rains and wind were likely as Hurricane Harvey was intensifying faster than previously forecast. (Rachel Denny Clow/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
Ken Knox secures a friend's boat at the Corpus Christi Marina in preparation for Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Forecasters said a "life-threatening" storm surge along with rains and wind were likely as Hurricane Harvey was intensifying faster than previously forecast. (Rachel Denny Clow/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
Bill Tippett, with the Salvation Army disaster department, deliver supplies of water and clean up kits to the Salvation Army in preparation for Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Forecasters said a "life-threatening" storm surge along with rains and wind were likely as Hurricane Harvey was intensifying faster than previously forecast. (Rachel Denny Clow/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
A sign warns of a Texas coastal hurricane watch as traffic passes by in Hutchins, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. A hurricane warning was issued for most of the central and southern Texas coast Thursday morning. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Mayor Joe McComb talks about storm surge in the Corpus Christi, Texas area during a news conference in preparation for Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Forecasters said a "life-threatening" storm surge along with rains and wind were likely as Hurricane Harvey was intensifying faster than previously forecast. (Gabe Hernandez/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
Bryan Tumlinson installs storm shutters on his store, Island Joes Coffee and Gallery, on North Padre Island in Corpus Christi, Texas, ahead of Tropical Storm Harvey on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. Tropical Storm Harvey intensified Thursday into a hurricane that forecasters said would be the first major hurricane to hit the middle Texas coastline in nearly 15 years. (Courtney Sacco/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
Evelyn Lynch and her daughter, Sucorro, stock up on canned goods in preparation of Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, at the Kroger in Galveston, Texas. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Harvey will become a major hurricane to hit the middle Texas coastline. (Jennifer Reynolds /The Galveston County Daily News via AP)
Aaron Berg fills up a gas can and his portable generator Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Houston as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico. Harvey is forecast to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall along the middle Texas coastline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Shoppers pass empty shelves along the bottled water aisle in a Houston grocery store as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. Harvey is forecast to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall along the middle Texas coastline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - AUGUST 25: A sign on a business reads, 'Closed for Harvey', as people prepare for approaching Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Hurricane Harvey has intensified into a hurricane and is aiming for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain and 125 mph winds. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - AUGUST 25: Lilyann Lewis packs pinky into the vehicle as her family packs up and evacuates their home before the approaching Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Hurricane Harvey has intensified into a hurricane and is aiming for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain and 125 mph winds. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Carolyn Price empties a fridge on the lower level of her property in Matagorda, Texas before Hurricane Harvey makes landfall Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Conditions were deteriorating along Texas's Gulf Coast on Friday as Hurricane Harvey strengthened and slowly moved toward the state, with forecasters warning that evacuations and preparations "should be rushed to completion." Price and her husband David drove down from Lake Conroe to retrieve their power fishing boat and other belongings after hearing the surge would reach 10-12 feet. (Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - AUGUST 25: Cody Munds, Lee Martin and John Pezzi (L-R) fill sandbags as people prepare for approaching Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Hurricane Harvey has intensified into a hurricane and is aiming for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain and 125 mph winds. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Clouds and rain form over downtown Corpus Christi, Texas, as the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey move closer to shore, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. The National Hurricane Center warns that conditions are deteriorating as Hurricane Harvey strengthens and slowly moves toward the Texas coast. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Ramon Lopez, left, and Arturo Villarreal board up windows of a business in Galveston, Texas as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Harvey is forecast to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall along the middle Texas coastline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Matt Looingvill struggles with his umbrella as he tries to walk in the wind and rain, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Harvey intensified into a hurricane Thursday and steered for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges in what could be the fiercest hurricane to hit the United States in almost a dozen years.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Luis Perez watches waves crash again a jetty in Galveston, Texas as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Harvey is forecast to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall along the middle Texas coastline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A family is helped to a bus as they are evacuated as the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey begin to make landfall, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Harvey intensified into a hurricane Thursday and steered for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges in what could be the fiercest hurricane to hit the United States in almost a dozen years.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Martha Wilson, center, listens to a radio as she waits to be evacuated with others as the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey begin to make landfall, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Harvey intensified into a hurricane Thursday and steered for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges in what could be the fiercest hurricane to hit the United States in almost a dozen years.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Officials deliver water to an holding area for residents waiting to be evacuated, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Harvey intensified into a hurricane Thursday and steered for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges in what could be the fiercest hurricane to hit the United States in almost a dozen years.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas A&M University at Galveston students Erica Tomlinson, from left, Kourtney Gasaway and Kara Jackson wait to evacuate the Mitchell Campus on Pelican Island in Galveston, Texas as Hurricane Harvey nears the Gulf coast Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Galveston, Texas. The students were bussed to the College Station campus. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)
A sign above Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Texas, warns travelers to stay away from the coast as Hurricane Harvey bears down on the state on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (Ryan Pelham/The Beaumont Enterprise via AP)
Twana Phillips is hit by a gust of wind while standing along the seawall in Galveston, Texas as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Harvey is forecast to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall along the middle Texas coastline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
People rest while waiting to board a bus headed for San Antonio at an evacuation center in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Hundreds of residents of the Corpus Christi area boarded buses Friday to be transported to a shelter in San Antonio as Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast Friday night or early Saturday morning. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 25: In this NASA handout, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image of Hurricane Harvey reaching the Gulf Coast at 12:25 p.m. local time (17:25 UTC) on August 25, 2017. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
PORT LAVACA, TX - AUGUST 25: Justin Karl, and Stockton Quirey, 17, board up a window as they prepare to ride out the storm with family and friends at the Green Iguana Grill as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico in Port Lavaca, TX on Friday, Aug 25, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
PORT LAVACA, TX - AUGUST 25: Jack Rigby, 17, lays on a mattress as he along with is family and friends prepare to ride out the storm at the Green Iguana Grill as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico in Port Lavaca, TX on Friday, Aug 25, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference about Hurricane Harvey at the State Operations Center in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Hurricane Harvey is shaping up as just about a worst-case scenario storm with possible flooding from two different directions. ( Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
TxDOT crews install the final portion of a surge wall on TX-361 leading to the Port Aransas ferry in Aransas Pass, Texas, on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Conditions deteriorated Friday along the Texas Gulf Coast as Hurricane Harvey strengthened and crawled toward the state, with forecasters warning that evacuations and preparations "should be rushed to completion." (Nick Wagner /Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Strong winds batter a house on Padre Island before the approaching Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Texas on August 25, 2017. Hurricane Harvey will soon hit the Texas coast with forecasters saying it is possible expect up to 3 feet of rain and 125 mph winds. / AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Gallery: Tropical Storm Harvey intensified into a hurricane that forecasters said would be the first major one to hit Texas in nine years.

Read more:

How to prepare for Hurricane Harvey — whether you evacuate or not

Hurricane Harvey's flood threat sparks memories of Tropical Storm Allison in Southeast Texas

Bryan Norcross, hero of Hurricane Andrew: Florida is 'not remotely prepared' for the next one


Andrew deGrandpre is deputy national security editor. He joined The Washington Post in 2017 after 12 years as an editor and reporter with Military Times.

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Capital Weather Gang

From space, 'astounding' Hurricane Harvey looks like it's about to swallow all of Texas

By Andrew deGrandpre

August 25, 2017 at 6:29 AM

Watch more!
The extremely dangerous storm is predicted to bring days of rain to southeast Texas starting on Aug. 25. (NASA/YouTube)

A brief-but-haunting video released by NASA on Thursday night shows Hurricane Harvey's powerful churn toward Central Texas, where the slow-moving storm is expected to throttle coastal communities with high winds and up to 25 inches of rain.

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