More Severe Weather is On the Way
September 1, 2011 • 10:42AM

Even before the flooding from Hurricane Irene has subsided, more severe weather is about to hit the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Tropical Storm Katia is now strengthening in the Atlantic and threatens to become the 11th hurricane of this hurricane season. Katia, about 985 miles from the southern Cape Verde Islands, has 65-mph winds and is speeding west-northwest at 21 mph, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a 5 a.m. advisory.

The storm is moving on a path that will take it to waters northeast of Puerto Rico on Sept. 4, according to an NHC projection. That day it may reach the 110-mph threshold for a major hurricane, the NHC said.

Katia is the 11th named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The NHC says the average hurricane season usually produces that in total.

At this point it is impossible to forecast whether Katia will strike the U.S. coast at all. A large area of thunderstorms over Cuba and the western Caribbean, meanwhile, has a 10-percent chance of organizing into a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico in the next two days, according to the hurricane center. Commodity Weather Group LLC President Matt Rogers yesterday said the system may turn into a tropical depression or tropical storm by the weekend.

In the Pacific off the coast of Mexico, the hurricane center is tracking an area of stormy weather about 60 miles south of the resort of Zihuatanejo that it said has an 80% chance of becoming a tropical depression within two days.