CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Drier and cooler air have moved into the Carolinas bringing a break from the heat and humidity, but the cold front is bad news for people living for Texas as Hurricane Harvey gains strength.
"The same front that brought us refreshing air, will block Harvey and park it along the Texas coast for the next couple of days. That's going to be bad news," said First Warn Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich.
Charlotte will see clouds Thursday, which will help keep the temperatures down. Dew points are in the 50s and 60s and they will continue to fall throughout the day.
Harvey intensified from a tropical storm to a hurricane around 1 p.m. Thursday. The National Hurricane Service said Harvey, "has intensified rapidly and is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall." This would be the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 12 years — since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005.
As Harvey strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for a 280-mile stretch of the Texas coast on Thursday and forecast up to 25 inches of rain over the next week.
Forecasters expected the storm system to be either slow-moving or possibility stationary for three to five days, which heightened concerns over heavy rainfall.
If this materializes, the National Weather Service in Houston said, some areas could see dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding.
"Since Harvey is forecast to stall, we expect 10-20 inches of rain over a large part of southern and eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana from Friday into early next week," according to AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.
Panovich says the storm will be in the Texas area for five to seven days.
A tropical system is brewing near Florida.
"It's also going to get trapped by the front," Panovich said. "And we could see see it cross over Florida and then up the East Coast, possibly developing into Irma at some point the next three or four days."
"If the front stays stalled to the south, we won't see much of an impact from Harvey in the Carolinas. But if the front starts drifting north, it could bring the remnants of Harvey and whatever is along the coast to cause flooding along the coastal sections of the Carolinas.
"While the weather in Charlotte will be nice, I'm keeping a close eye on Harvey and what happens with the mess near Florida," Panovich said.
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