The exact details are still being defined and will be different for every hurricane and not all inland hurricane intensification include contributions from the Brown Ocean Effect ( Officially TCMI, “Tropical Cyclone Maintenance or Intensification” ) since currently most inland intensifications can be categorized as Extratropical Transitions, such as 2012’s H. Sandy which are driven by different physical dynamics.
“(1) an atmosphere with minimal temperature variations, (2) sufficient antecedent soil moisture from rainfall (even swamps or wetlands), and (3) evaporation rates that can provide enough energy to the atmosphere to mimic the ocean.” (source)
“I’d like to bring it back to Hurricane Harvey, can you explain what the Brown Ocean Effect is and how it impacts landfall hurricanes such as Harvey?”
“The ‘Brown Ocean Effect is about land surface areas getting so saturated with hot water that when a hurricane comes over the land it starts sucking up the heat and moisture.”
“So that's presumably the brown ocean effect that if you've dumped a whole lot of water on the land there is a capability for some moisture to reevaporate back into the atmosphere to help refuel the storm if you like.”
“You know having a big dumping of water over land didn't hurt but I don't know just how much it helped either. That's the sort of thing that we can sort out a bit more with experiments with models at some later point.”