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. xavi

    All the people in the northeast are going to freak ab this hurricane cuz it will somehow affect them.. And the republicans are going to blame this hurricane on obama

    September 1, 2011 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. chana

    how do they even come up with naming these damn things ugh!

    September 1, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bucko G

    Maybe everyone needs to chill out, hunker down, hope for the best, plan for the worst and see where this storm`s goin? And stop blaming the weather on our elected political leaders??

    September 1, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      I'm blaming them political heathens! we need holy people in political office..

      September 1, 2011 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |

      no we r not

      September 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nick

    We are all going to die, the world is going through a change and we aren't in it's future plans. Look at all the natural disasters around the world, I just want to see what collapses first, the global economy or the global environment. I'm taking bets

    September 1, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
    • David Motari

      Cash bets? If the economy collapses first, such bets would be voided.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Ellie

      lol u aint gonna die, who said that?

      September 2, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Izzy

      I seriously hope we don't die cuz that is sad Mann Lolz hope to the world

      September 11, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chad

    I think we ALL should just shut up........and honor & respect the power of NATURE in whatever form it decides to display itself........Conspiracy Theorist, Religous Gurus, Hypothesisizers......etc.......just shut up........and listen.....and watch.......and then ask yourself......."Judging by the natural disasters that are occuring daily across the globe, should I or should I not do something to at least preserve my life?"........that's all you can do..!

    September 1, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael Pants

      Chad, I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine. He's called "full stop." He looks like this: .

      Perhaps you would like to get acquainted?

      September 1, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    There are no holy people.
    Some people are more fair and honest than others.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. michaelfury

    Yes, a storm is brewing.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. leeintulsa

    Cool – if the one in the gulf goes hurricane, it'll be hurricane lee

    September 1, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ellie

    2012 here we come... lol

    September 2, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. dancesintherain

    If anyone thinks that their not affected by a major storm either living on the coast or not,then you must not own a ca,r or need to buy your food from a grocery store,or rely on any public utilities.Storms raise the cost of living,they impact use in the way we live even if we're not directly in its path.Yes, I believe the earth is going through changes, and there isn't anything we can do about it. All that inhabit the earth will become extinct. The question is when?

    September 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bucko G

    Saw a great program on NOVA the other night. Some scientists have a theory that rapid, violent climate change is what drove human evolution. Fossil records show that for at least 2 million yrs human ancestor brain size was flat-lined at chimp size. Then coincidentally (geologic time frame) with rapid, violent climate change and the need to cope, brain size took off! Maybe we due for bigger brains??

    September 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Guido da costa gomez from curacao neth .ant

    It is more than two centuries ago thast people have been tracking those sgtorms nd hurricane and tornado in their land and country,but it seems though that people is not learning the real lesson of it at all. we are now capable of predicting hurricane pah ,we can track tornados ,but still we cannot manage to built stronger hurricane and tornadoproof housese., every year its the same on the newes ,seeing devasted houses,nbeighbourhood,and peoplle dwindling and crying over their loved ones they have lost and their homes. but are we seriously taking the lessons out of this all?? not at all i guess. to make things easier i have many times presented in workshops and conferences worldwide how to build hurricane and tornado,storm proof housese and buildings. many americans i believe like and love to build houses and homes made of wood and improved multiplex,though it seems to be comfortable ,but it does not seems to be compatible with the last 30 years hurricane safety measures and rules. the weather and climate worldwide is changin and it has become more severly and stronger than ever and this will continue for decades or decennias. we will not longer live in an tamed weather like atmosphere. we will confront with our children and greatgrandchildren hostile envirement. we have TO FACE THE REALITY OF THE LATTER DAYS. WE HAVE TO BUILT CONCRETE HOUSES MADE OF BRICK,CEMENT AND BETON.=DUTCH TRANSLATED.OUR ROOFS HAS TO BE OF SOLID CONCRETE.LET ME PUT IT IN AN EASIER WAY FOR EVERYONE WHO READ THIS. MAKE HOUSES OF COMPLETE SOLID CONCRETE LIKE IN THE CARTOON OF FRED FLINSTONE.PEOPLE WILL NOT HAVE ANY LONGER TO WEEP AND CRY OF THEIR LOVED ONES WHO'S BEEN HIT AND THROWN AWAY FROM THEIR WOODEN AND PLASTIC HOMES. BY BUILDING THE WALLS AND ROOFS OF SOLID CONCRETE AND ACE OR STEEL WE WILL KEEP ENJOYING OUR LIFE IN THE MIDST OF THE HURRICANE STORMS WITH OUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES INSIDE OUR HOME IMPROVEMENT HOUSES. MAKE INSIDE THESE CONCRETE WALLS WITH WOOD ,CANVAS ,PVC OR PLASTIC,BUT ENJOY THE PASSING TORNADOES AND STORM AND HURRICANES WITHOUT EVEN NOTICING IT. THANK YOU AGAIN. EMAIL ME AT .: KNIGHTGUIDO@HOTMAIL.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.

    September 3, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bucko G

    You are right Knightguido! We have come out of the caves and now in some locations must return. How much our GDP is spent on cleaning up after Mother Nature?! Is it fair for insurance policy holders far removed from hurricane prone areas to pay increased premiums to cover losses? Or are risk pools set up geographically?

    September 4, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bucko G

    We need to be more like the 3rd little pig who built his house of brick. . . Way up on a hill!

    September 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Izzy

    I seriously hope we don't die cuz that's sad Mann hope to the world Lolz

    September 11, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
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