Tropical storm Katia has developed into a category one hurricane during Friday morning. Since its formation on August 29 as a tropical depression it has made its way to within 200 miles of the eastern coast of the US.
However it has suddenly changed direction out in the Atlantic and is moving at pace towards Scotland. Katia currently has sustained wind speeds of around 85mph with gusts up to 110mph. Its projected path, which suddenly changed from a westerly heading to a north-easterly, puts it on a direct path with Scotland. The hurricane will lose some intensity as it heads over slightly cooler waters of the North Atlantic ocean but will still be packing strong winds and heavy rain.
Hurricane Katia's path will see it continue to blow severe gales in excess of 85mph until its close proximity to Scotland at the beginning of the week.
The severe gales expected during Monday morning could see sustained winds of around 65mph and all areas of Ireland and the UK can expect to see some of the force of Katia. The projected path could still be amended in the next day or so and the Met Office in London has issued a yellow alert at this stage. On Friday morning the warning said:
The remains of Hurricane Katia are expected to come across the UK on Monday bringing a spell of very windy weather. There remains a fair amount of uncertainty about its track and intensity, and warning areas may be extended or upgraded to amber in subsequent issues, but the best estimate currently is that northern and western parts of the UK are most at risk from very strong winds. The public should be aware of the risk of disruption to transport and of the possibility of damage to trees and structures.
Hurricane Katia currently has a ground speed of around 21mph. Recently another hurricane, Irene headed in a similar direction after it had battered the east coast of US and Nova Scotia before dying out in the cooler waters around Iceland. Katia is much further south than where Irene was tracked - currently 36.3 degrees north - which will help to maintain its strength in warmer seas. Hurricane specialist John Cangialosi said Katia would downgrade from a tropical system to a large storm once it was over the North Atlantic open sea and would head for Scotland, reports BBC Weather.