Harvey has regained tropical storm strength as it drifts in the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas and forecasters say it could become a hurricane.

By early Thursday, the storm's maximum sustained winds had increased to near 45 mph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says additional strengthening is expected and Harvey could become a hurricane on Friday.

The tropical storm is centered about 370 miles southeast of Port Mansfield, Texas, and is moving north at 10 mph.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level, making state resources available for possible rescue and recovery actions. Abbott also pre-emptively declared a state of disaster for 30 counties on or near the coast to speed deployment of state resources.

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Meteorologists forecast Harvey to possibly become a hurricane by late Friday before it makes landfall -- that could be along the U.S. coast. A hurricane warning is in effect from about Port Mansfield to Matagorda, Texas.

A tropical storm warning also is in effect from Port Mansfield to the Rio Grande River, in addition to Matagroda to High Island Texas.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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