August 31, 2011 The second hurricane of the 2011 season is official, Hurricane Katia reached 75 mph sustained winds over the Atlantic Ocean late on Wednesday.
By Wednesday night at 11 p.m., Katia was centered approximately 1,800 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and was moving west-northwest at about 20 mph. The latest data shows Hurricane Katia at 2600 miles off the U.S. coastline.
As much of the East Coast is in the initial stage of recovery, meteorologists say residents in areas along the East Coast still reeling from Hurricane Irene’s wrath should stay focused on the task on hand – resilience. The weather system is being closely monitored for changes.
At the National Hurricane Center, forecasters say it is too early to predict what path Katia will take. Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said “It’s got a lot of ocean to go.”
Meanwhile, another storm is brewing over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, raising concerns at the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service. Fred Zeigler, a meteorologist at NWS said the system has a high chance of becoming a tropical storm in the next two days, bringing rain to the Mississippi and Louisiana coast. As in the case of Katia, Zeigler stresses that it is too early to tell whether it will mean anything worse.
As U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon and read an announcement from President Obama declaring a major disaster area for the state, Katia was traveling ahead of
predictions and was upgraded to a hurricane before the days end.
According to NOLA, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predict Katia will continue to strengthen over the next 48 hours and could become a major hurricane by the weekend. The next billion dollar question could be – Where?
Check back often for updates.