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. Andreas Moser

    Is Katia the daughter of Katrina?

    August 31, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Nitalynn

      More like a sister.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheetah2008

      Either way.....funny(not) that the bad storms are named after women.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      @Cheetah: The names actually alternate male/female, and there have been plenty of storms with male names that have caused damage.The big one that comes to mind is Hurricane Andrew in 1992–the most costly hurricane in US history before Hurricane Katrina hit.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • crookedarm

      Didn't realize Andrew was a woman's name.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeMa

      How about Floyd?

      August 31, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Deep North

      Replacement name. Katrina was retired after the damage... Bad vibes!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      I don't know... but I sure do hope is smashes into new orleans and finishes the job. That city sucks!

      August 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michaelfury

    August 31, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      you're a real friggin idiot you know that...please kill yourself.

      August 31, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue Atl

      Geez, Mike. Chill!

      August 31, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. FJ

    Let's HOPE NOT.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ed Sadler

    I may be getting old, but isn't 75 m.p.h. the beginning point of a category I hurricane, not 74 m.p.h. as reported?

    August 31, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Vlad

      Very important difference! Make sure you let the editor know. You can blow the lid off this thing

      August 31, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • See

      No, 74 mph is correct. Doesn't seem very proper, does it? 🙂

      August 31, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      cat 1 is 74

      August 31, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Zack

      >73 mph is hurricane status... don't know why they didn't just round up.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • JW

      Right, right, right, 1mph difference makes the story! Can't get all up in arms about a non-hurricane that is 1mph below category 1, now can we. The whole category thing isn't an exact science–the second it hits a category 1 doesn't mean it will cause more damage than a non-hurricane at 74 mph–the 74 mph could hit the right places at the right times and do far more damage.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheetah2008

      "Level 1, 74-95 mph
      Level 2, 96-110 mph
      Level 3, 111-130 mph
      Level 4, 131-155 mph
      Level 5, 156 mph"

      August 31, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. ipmutt

    They made this one sound like Katrina. Surprised? Now where willl the start pointing the forecasted landfall? Want to be it will be New Orleans? What a joke these people are.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • golfnugget

      I think the point of the article was to give a glimpse into how they go about naming hurricanes. At no point does this article make any comparison to Katrina other than to explain why that storm name has been replaced/retired. The only joke here is your comment.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ed Sadler

    I may be getting old, but isn't 75 m.p.h. the beginning point of a category I hurricane, not 74 m.p.h. as reported?

    oops, am getting old!

    August 31, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. DrDoITT

    Shoulda been named Hurricane Barrack or Hurricane Obama. That will do justice to the track record and history of President Hussein.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Vlad

      They should have called it Hurricane Tea Party

      August 31, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • OsoMartinez

      That wouldn't make sense since President Obama has created more jobs since Bush and put the country on the right track. A hurricane named "Bush" would be more appropriate since Bush and his cronnies did as much destruction to the US as they could to make a buck.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • DrDoITT

      I apologize, I didn't mean to disrespect my President like that.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • JW

      We forgive you DrDooDoo.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Nitalynn

      Only a troll Republican can find anything political about naming a hurricane. But then I guess that is the type of animal it is.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • JW

      I apollogize to DrDoITT for calling him DrDooDoo

      August 31, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Nitalynn

      I apollogize to DrDoITT fer calling him a republican troll. Everyone has right to express there view.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • bresson

      Hurricanes get female names in the atlantic you idiot

      August 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • propmgr

      @bresson – no, you're the idiot. Atlantic Hurricanes' names alternate between male and female names.

      August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • DrDoITT

      I'm sorry for being such an obvious troll...I don't know what came over me

      August 31, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      That's the spirit! Let's all hold hands and pray to god that this thing reaches an unprecedented category level 10 and wipes out new orleans!!

      I'm just kidding... god doesn't exist and prayers don't get answers.

      But we can all hug and be friends and hope for it anyway!

      August 31, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kyn

    We are praying that this gets stronger, so that much needed rain will help out the East Coast.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I hope you're joking. We don't need a cat 3 for the rain.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ScienceWorks

      Prayer doesn't work silly. And we got enough rain. Nice jokes though. ;p

      August 31, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue Atl

      ScienceWorks, I'll say a prayer that both your mind and heart open up a little bit.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      @ScienceWorks: Just remember: "I'll pray for you" translates straight to "F_ck you, heathen."

      August 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      lol @ praying for people

      Oh man, you actually think god exists? Bwaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha

      August 31, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OsoMartinez

    DrDoITT doesnt have to apologize. People can blame Bush all they want but this president is on the wrong track. I dont know why I voted for him last year. His big government takeover of healthcare failed, good! and why focus on that rather than create jobs?

    August 31, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheetah2008

      I can understand why you & so many millions Americans followed......a used car salesman.
      Once you've been around for a while.....maybe you'll be able to know the difference between what a person CAN do and what they state the WILL do. One question to all....if YOUR life better with this person??? Mine.....NOT.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Q

      You voted for him LAST YEAR...FAIL

      August 31, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • I cup

      One of his campaign platforms was healtcare. If you didn't see that coming and you voted for him anyway, shame on you.

      August 31, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • OsoMartinez

      I'm sorry you guys, I don't know why I thought bringing politics into a weather discussion was a good idea...maybe my blood sugar is low, I'm going to go get a cookie.

      August 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marto

    Oh Vlad, you're sooooo funny! ....not!
    Ed has a point. Tell people it's a tropical storm and the reaction is "meh". Tell them it's a hurrican and they perk up.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kelly

    Wow...a story about a hurricane (far from being a current threat to the USA) was turned into something political by the super-educated commenting here. I never would have suspected in a million years that something like that could happen! (heavy sarcasm implied)

    August 31, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Here's an idea that will create revenue and jobs! CNN can charge a nominal fee to people who get the urge to post comments like this, and then hire people to review these comment boards are weed out all the idiot comments and non-sequiturs.

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

      Great idea Howard!!!!!

      Then, we can use the funds to buy you a sense of humor and to have that parking cone surgically removed from your posterior!!!

      You're a genius!!!!!!

      August 31, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. buddget

    Hey , lets ask Pat Robertson if he could do anything to divert the hericane's path. I know that he didn't help with Irene because it was going to hit New York and NY just leagleize gay marrige.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • WhatDidOneGayHorseSayToTheOtherGayHorse? Haaaaay!

      Don't forget that they are well-dressed too!

      August 31, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kelly

    and I decide what is and what is not appropriate for commenting on articles. Check with me at kellyIsRight AT gmail DOT com before putting any comments. OK?

    August 31, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Yes! Excellent!!

      Because allowing others to have the freedom of speech is WRONG!!

      We should only be allowed to say what YOU want us to say!!

      You are SooooooooOOoooooOOOooooo smart!!!!

      Kelly, you should run for president so that you can take away our rights! No one else should ever be allowed to have an opinion. ONLY YOU! I love the way you think! Master genius!

      August 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JW

    And meanwhile FEMA is out of money. I personally was OK after the last one, and not likely to get harmed drastically if this one comes through the east coast, as I'm pretty far from the coast. But what will FEMA do if they are out of money and this thing comes through and causes more damage than the last one? No funds, no help, people are on their own!

    August 31, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      So... what you're saying here is that there is at least a 5 day warning on a possible hurricane. People don't bother to evacuate. So, we owe them money for being stupid. Correct?

      I don't like obama at all. But am I supposed to blame him for the hurricane as well when FEMA doesn't get anything done? Please, enlighten me here. I'm not sure what the rules are in this whole blame game thing exactly.

      Wait, is obama himself supposed to stop the hurricane first? Does a hurricane causing damage automatically make the guy in the white house a member of the republican party if he doesn't cut spending on everything in the country to buy everyone who chose to live on the coast new homes?

      Ok ok, I think I got it. So, if I choose to buy a home on a riverbank that is prone to severe flooding, and the river floods and wipes out my home and FEMA doesn't give me everything I demand within 24 hours, then obama is automatically a greedy republican and a bible thumper.

      I think I might have this figured out.

      Wait, what if obama offers to help and is told that his help isn't needed? Then how does that work? Do I still get to blame him since my district politician has jurisdiction? I'm so confused!

      August 31, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. conrad

    well if Katia become an Hurricane lets hope she go in Texas
    I can't wait to see the GOP reaction when Fema say to them
    " sorry we're broken"

    August 31, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      "well if Katia become an Hurricane lets hope she go in Texas
      I can't wait to see the GOP reaction when Fema say to them
      " sorry we're broken"

      Well, if Katia becomes a hurricane, let's hope it lands in Texas. I can't wait to see the GOP reaction when FEMA says to them, "We apologize, we're broke."

      I went ahead and corrected your horrible sentence structure and fixed some awkward other grammatical errors for you. FEMA by the way is an acronym. You silly liberals. You all think you're so educated and intelligent. So cute!

      August 31, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
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