Katia Strengthens with Strong Winds and Rains off Mexico

Jerome Frank
September 10, 2017

Hurricane Katia churned nearly 200 miles (322 km) off the Gulf coast of Mexico on Wednesday evening before an expected turn towards land that could dump heavy rain on eastern states in the coming days, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Katia transitioned from a tropical storm to a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, and was a Category 2 hurricane as of 4 p.m. Friday, with sustained wind speeds of 105 miles per hour.

Katia, a category one hurricane, was around 195 miles northeast of Veracruz at 12:00 GMT Thursday - with sustained winds of 80 miles (129 kph) per hour and gusts of 96 mph (154 kph), according to the National Meteorological Service of Mexico.

Meanwhile, Irma is advancing on the USA mainland and is now forecast to hit the Florida Keys as a Category 5 storm.

The storm is expected to further weaken as it moves inland, and is expected to dissipate Saturday.

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Mexico is also dealing with the aftermath of a powerful quake on Thursday night.

The hurricane was located 145 miles south of Tampico, Mexico, and 115 miles west-northwest of Veracruz, Mexico.

Veracruz state officials said in a statement on Friday that the storm could cause landslides and flooding, and urged people living below hills and slopes to be prepared to evacuate.

The natural disaster, the strongest to strike Mexico in more than 80 years, killed at least 61 people. Hurricane Jose is expected to continue over the western Atlantic Ocean for several days. At the same time, Irma strengthened back into a Category 5 storm Friday night, after weakening to a Category 4 earlier in the day.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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