Storm Hanna set to become hurricane before hitting Texas Saturday: NHC

FILE PHOTO: An American flag flies at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, U.S. August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello

(Reuters) - Tropical Storm Hanna is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall along the Texas coast either on Saturday afternoon or early evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Friday.

The cyclone is getting better organized over the western Gulf of Mexico as hurricane and storm surge warnings were issued for portions of the central Texas coast, it said.

Hanna was located about 195 miles (315 kilometers) east-northeast of Port Mansfield, Texas, packing maximum sustained winds of 50 miles-per-hour (85 km per hour), the NHC said.

“Steady strengthening is forecast for the next 24 hours, and Hanna is expected to become a hurricane before the cyclone makes landfall,” the Miami-based forecaster added.

Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler