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article imageTropical Storm Katia forms in the Atlantic

By Kim I. Hartman     Aug 31, 2011 in Environment
Tropical Storm Katia, the 11th named storm of the hurricane season, has formed and continues to gain strength as she races across the Atlantic ocean.
As the east coast continues to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center have their eye on new system that is expected to become the second named hurricane of the season by Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
Tropical Storm Katia has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is moving west-northwest at 21 mph. The tropical storm is located 900 miles off the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Katia is expected to continue strengthening as she races eastward this week.
Katia replaces Katrina in the rotation of storm names used by meteorologists. Katrina was retired by the World Meteorological Organization in 2005 following the catastrophic damage she produced in New Orleans and the southeast.
Tropical Storm Katia
Tropical Storm Katia
National Weather Service
National Hurricane Center senior hurricane specialist Richard Pasch said, "The East Coast and the Caribbean should 'keep and eye' on Katia as she continues to develop into a hurricane. "It's still well out to sea. A lot of things can happen ... We don't show it affecting any land areas for five days. Beyond that is merely speculation," Pasch told Reuters.
Current predictions, which have an error margin of 250 miles, have Katia crossing over Bermuda and heading towards Canada as a Category 3 storm by Labor Day.
"Katia is intensifying and is well-organized and has plenty of warm water that will help her strenthen. She is expected to pass north of the Leeward Islands, but that could change," said tropical weather expert Dr. Rick Knabb.
Knabb said the National Hurricane Center is also watching a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean that could develop over the Gulf in the next few days.
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