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. Dean

    I gotta say that I just have a bad feeling about this one. I don't know why.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      Its probably coming to finish the job that Katrina wasn't able to do. Just like u I have a bad feeling about katia.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sencho

      You're probably psychic.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |

    TeXaS and Florida, Be Ready

    August 31, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas

      We always are...

      Hurricanes are nothing new for us.

      August 31, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pete T184

    Ditto Dean, I have a bad instinct about this one, I cannot explain it. I was without power for 6 weeks after Katrina and I had major damage to my home, so I have been there, done that, got the T-shirt, ate the MRE's, drank the bottled water, smelled like a sewer rat for weeks...and thus I don't scare easily about hurricanes. But I have a bad feeling about this one...maybe it has something to do with it taking Katrina's place in the 2011 roster. As far as over-hyping it, well..... I have evacuated many times for nothing, but with Katrina if I had not evacuated I might be dead right now, as some of my former neighbors are (who decided to ride it out.) So all it takes is one Katrina and you will be glad for the hype and the warnings and whatever. And if you live in a zone where storm surge is even remotely possible in a hurricane, then I urge you to can ride out a lotta things, but NOT STORM SURGE!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil v2.0

      Very well put, Pete; I fully agree with you and sincerely hope you have fully recovered from Katrina's devastation.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Wes

    So if they completely ignore reporting about it and it turns into a major hurricane that slams into the U.S., they'll be in the wrong for saying nothing. Can't win with you can they?

    August 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Times

    GOP: Cut FEMA, First Responders & Hurricane Hunters, so let hope that it doesn't hit the USA again.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thinkfree

    I forecast strong northeast whining

    August 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • William T Sherman = GOD

      Listen you SOUTHERN lNBRED PIECE OF SHllT. Why don't you talk to the families of the 39 who were killed or the hundreds who lost everything about "whining" you lNBRED FUKK.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quit complaining

      It's interesting that the people in the northeast had a week of warning and they still didn't heed the warning. If you know the storm is coming 7 days in advance and you are still standing in its path when it arrives, you get what you deserve.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • "Quit complaining" = moron

      Hey "Quit complaining" - we don't live in trailers like you hayseeds, so we can't hitch them to the back of our "truuucks" and tow them to safety. Our houses are fixed to the ground.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      "Quit Complaining" – with the exception of NYC, NY, VT and most of the rest of the NorthEast had no evacuation orders. Especially after it got "downgraded" to a tropical storm, people didn't think that the flooding would set ALL TIME RECORDS.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quit complaining

      Again, if you were still standing in the storm' spath when it arrived, sorry for your luck. Contrary to what you may believe, a majority of the nation is not sympathtic to the position you have gotten yourself into.

      August 31, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • William T Sherman = GOD

      I feel strongly about this issue. Upon further reflection, it was wrong of me to assume you're southern or to call you names. I'm going to get off the internet for a while.

      August 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MisterGrizz

    Spoken like a true idiot, Randy. Nicely done.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. William T Sherman = GOD

    i pray to ALMIGHTY GOD that it cuts a path of HEAVENLY DESTRUCTION though the South and kills Thinkfree's family.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      Let's see, wishing death on someone's family because of a stupid remark - you have some nerve to call someone else a piece of **it.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • William T Sherman = GOD

      I can't believe myself...what was I thinking...I'll go read a book now instead of acting like a doosh on the internet...

      August 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chesapeake Bay Girl

    There was no fear mongering in this article and there is no way for anyone to tell where this storm will go. People didn't pay attention to warnings befor and during Irene and thirty-three people died. Many homes and vehicles were completel destroyed. Hundreds of thousands are still without power. As for me, I'll be cleaning up limbs and debris for the next month. Get a reality check.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Doc

    Seriously, Randy where do you live? Those of us who live in the rregualr path of these storms do not consider this fear mongering. A storm starts coming, we start tracking. It's called common sense

    August 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cageygirl

    What's fear mongering about this report? It's a statement of fact. There's a tropical storm in the Atlantic that will likely increase to hurricane force winds. Didn't you see the statement, "It is still too early to predict whether Katia will pose any threat to land."? What article did you read?

    August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. God

    THis is ur creator u humans have been messing wit my whole world for a long time, now u shall face the wrath of mothernature, and i will sit up here in heaven and watch

    August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    It is one thing to report on a storm, it is hyped when you have non stop 24 hour coverage of some guy standing on a sidewalk in the same location with a wave crashing behind him for 4 days that s all we heard, even as the storm was weakening they were calling it the storm of the century, gee woner what this one will be? My theory is the elit east coast media had to make a big deal out of this because they wer inconvienced by it, their favorite "look at me" hangouts were closed. had this storm been anywhere else they would have all but ignored it

    August 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Suzanne

    They may over do it, but you can not accurately predict hurricanes and everyone needs to be aware. Just ask Vermont who got hit really bad with Irene. I know I used to ignore these as hype but sinceFran hit Raleigh I take them ALL seriously and I am just thankful when they don't hit.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Thinkfree

    WTS – thats pretty funny All that god and heavenly destruction crap just insinuates that you are the "inbred" individual. Can't you just ask Mr Jesus to fix everything? A little science education and a little less church little man. You religious nutters are so violent – imagine what the big G dog would say about cursing someones familiy about a whining comment – better get on that rosary and ask for forgiveness – or are you a "casual" christian?

    August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveinCincy

      ahhh...I see the anti-religion, argumentative, commentators are back in full force.. Stopfeeling so threatened by people of faith. Now why don't you go back to your coffee shop and plan some pro-abortion rally's or whatever atheists do in their spare time.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      DaveinCincy: You might be more sympathetic if you saw what WTS posted. Thinkfree made a (in my opinion) stupid and pretty tasteless comment, but the response was a prayer to God to send a disaster to come kill Thinkfree's family.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
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