August 31st, 2011
11:12 PM ET

Katia becomes hurricane; another storm brewing in Gulf

[Updated at 11:12 p.m. ET] Katia became the second hurricane of the Atlantic season Wednesday night and is forecast to become a Category 3 storm in the Atlantic Ocean by the weekend, though it's still too early to know whether it will hit land.

This image, taken at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, shows storms in the Gulf of Mexico that forecasters say could become a tropical depression.

Elsewhere, forecasters on Wednesday saw the potential for a new tropical storm that could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast over the weekend.

A cluster of storms over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday could become a tropical depression by Thursday, with the help of upper-level winds that are forecast to aid development, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. Wednesday tropical weather outlook.

“Most computer models are developing this into at least a tropical storm, if not a hurricane within the next two days,” CNN Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said Wednesday evening.

“There is a ton of potential for flooding,” Jeras said. “One computer model solution here (puts) as much as 6 to 12 inches of rain on the Gulf Coast by Saturday morning.”

Other models have the system going into Texas, parts of which are dealing with drought and wildfires.

The system has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, the hurricane center’s 8 p.m. outlook said.

As for Katia, it strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday night, with maximum sustained winds at 75 mph shortly before 11 p.m., the hurricane center said. The wind-speed threshold for hurricanes is 74 mph.

Shortly before 11 p.m., Katia was about 1,165 miles east of the Caribbean Sea’s Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest near 20 mph.

The storm could be a major hurricane with winds above 110 mph by Saturday night, possibly still hundreds of miles east of Puerto Rico, according to the hurricane center. It still is too early to predict whether Katia will pose any threat to land.

[Initial post, 8:06 a.m. ET] Tropical Storm Katia was gradually gaining strength over the Atlantic Ocean early Wednesday and could reach hurricane strength by the afternoon, the National Hurricane Center's 5 a.m. advisory said.

At 5 a.m., Katia was almost a 1,000 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 21 mph.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were 65 mph. Katia will become a Category 1 hurricane when the winds hit 74 mph.

The storm was forecast to become a major hurricane with winds above 110 mph by early Sunday.

It is still too early to predict whether Katia will pose any threat to land.

Katia is the storm name that replaced Katrina in the revolving list of names, according to the center. The list of Atlantic hurricane names is repeated every six years, and this year the list that was used in 2005 is being reused.

A storm name is retired if it is used for a hurricane that caused major damage, as Katrina did to the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005.

"The only time that there is a change is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for obvious reasons of sensitivity," the hurricane center said.

soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. s kel

    OsoMartinez you claimed you voted for Pres. Obama when, last yr? Yeah right lier, lol. I see you and perry, along with bachman take the same mind altering drugs. Go back to sleep tea bagger.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • V. P..

      Now that was funny, I needed that. Have a good day! s kel

      August 31, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. JOE

    Moammar Ghadafi's daughter recently gave birth to a girl. Guess what she's going to name her? Katia? No! Irene? No! The answer is: Sarah Bachmann Palin

    August 31, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Big George in Big D

      What on earth would you waste your time posting such sheer stupidity?

      August 31, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Big George in Big D

      Changed my mind. That is very, very funny!

      August 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Amy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hey guys, will you visit .. Help Faye . ORG ... a friend of mine is Fighting for her life.... Thank you

    August 31, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    Wow it really suprises me that yall talk like grown adults but are fighting like a drama infested high school click. Grow up and think about what will happen if fema cant pay for these damages if Katia does happen to go higher than cat one or even two. Personally i would like to see the hurricane hit washington dc just see what happens to this country when the govt is running it out of idk lets say richmond? Anyways y dont yall grow up and take ur left wing talk else where.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Tax the rich marginally more.
      The same awful rates from the Clinton Administration would be a damn good start.
      Lifting the Social security cap at the same time would close the entire budget gap, without cutting Social Security, Medicare, or the Military.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • wial

      How did having a government out of Richmond work for you last time around?

      August 31, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan, TX

      Eric, if you say to move taxes to what they were under Ronald Reagan you'd get more people who listen, since the tax rates under Reagan were almost that same as under Clinton.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      I feel properly chastised.

      August 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. justathought

    ===========The best that can be said for these natural catastrophes is that it may create some jobs, new roads, new bridges, homes and buildings, public and priviare rebuilt, etc. and I'm not sure how many power lines may need to be replaced not ot mention TV cables which people are not even thinking of right now. There is a lot of work to be done.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jrh82

    How does an article about the naming of a hurricane turn into people commenting about the most ridiculous things?! It is a joke reading these pointless comments.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • kardiac

      and yet here you are

      August 31, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      I don't understand how comments about politics get posted on a hurricane story. Maybe because they are full of wind and costly to the American people???

      August 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan, TX

      because the extreme right and left (but more on the right then left) use all the psychological means possible to whip their supporters into such a frenzy that they are driven by hatred of the other side. The democrats and republicans are like peas in a pod, they are almost the same politically, and so the small differences have been magnified into the other side being EVIL and therefore it's ok to say horrible things, which then upsets a few, and then they say horrible things and soon you have each side hating the other for the horrible things that were said. In the mean time, America stays a house divided. And the real leaders that support and finance the farthest left and right (foreign operatives bent on destroying America) stay in power and take our wealth and our education (they take our dignity as humans).

      August 31, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    I would not be suprised if this one also went up the east coast. Sometimes, these things just happen like this.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. WD

    Uh oh...Jim Cantore needs to get down to Daytona Beach in his rain slicker and do some live reports. "I'M LIVE IN FLORIDA AND AS YOU CAN SEE THE SUN IS OUT RIGHT NOW BUT THERE ARE WAVES IN THE OCEAN AND PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KEEP CALM AND NOT PANIC OVER THIS HURRICANE THAT IS 1,400 MILES AWAY".

    August 31, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      You must not live in hurrican country. Sometimes it takes the public that long (miles away) to decide to prepare for the worst.
      Ivan and Dennis took aim at my town in Alabama– we were in the bull's eye. Katrina threatened us but did her damage to New Orleans. It's important for all news and weather channels to report what's out there.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ron Paul

    RON PAUL is the People's Choice in 2012! Join the rEVOLution!

    August 31, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      He hasn't got a chance, it's his third and last kick at the can; it will be a Romney v Perry fight – I'm not saying it is good, but the writing is already on the wall.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Big George in Big D

      heaven forbid, please no!

      August 31, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Walker

      People's Choice, perhaps, but choice for what? You surely don't mean for president. With his level of thought-provoking rhetoric, he would be my choice to head our local sanitation department.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I didn't know they still elected dog catchers.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • twirtzy

      So Ron Paul's campaign is responsible for this storm? Was Irene from the Romney camp?

      August 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. S.S.

    it better not come back to the east coast. first day of school has already been postponed one week. i dont think i can take any more summer vacatioin.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Howie

    I do not understand why people expect the government (FEMA) to cover the cost of hurricane damages. Florida and Texas both take care of their damages without expecting the government to bail them out. That is why insurance is available. I live in South Carolina and after huricane Hugo, (category four) tore us apart we recovered on our own. Everyone else should assume some accountability and move on.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      http://161.203.16.4/d20t9/144188.pdf

      Nope. They received no help at all.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ywgwie malmsteen

    Obomba has created more jobs than bush??? have you been living under a rock? Yngwie rocks!

    August 31, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Howie

      Where are those jobs, I know people who are looking.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • freddie

      Ywgwie, you have been drinking too much kool aid.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Howald

      Bush wanted to make the "assembly" of hamburgers i.e. "Big Macs" classified as a manufacturing job to boost his numbers...are you brain dead?

      August 31, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    @Steve:
    This is a forum where anyone can state an opinion...even you.
    Y'all.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Saiorse

    Looks like an active system set to deliver hurricanes to the east coast this season (coldest summer in the last 25 years in Ireland?). Up here in northern Maine we are just bidding our time waiting for our Nor'easter's and what they bring to the party. Slainte

    August 31, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Hurricane Names

    Arent' they alphabetical? What was "J"? Irene... J- and then Katia...

    August 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deep North

      JOSE...It never came close!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      "J" was tropical storm Jose but it never became a hurricane so the next system got the letter K

      August 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      Irene gave Jose a dunking right along with every state in her path. He wasn't strong enough to survive!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
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