Major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 or higher, have made direct landfall in the continental United States in every decade since 1851, except for the present decade. That may change tonight.

Since 1851, when the government started keeping records, 274 hurricanes have made direct landfall in the continental United States (see note below), according to data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Of those 274 direct-landfall hurricanes, only 94, or 34.30 percent, have been “major” storms, defined as Category 3 or higher, with winds at or above 111 miles an hour.

If predictions come true,  Hurricane Harvey will be among this group when it reaches land in central Texas late tonight or early Saturday. It is then predicted to stall out and produce record rainfall.

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