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August 31, 2011

Katia nearly a hurricane; Gulf storm brewing

Tropical Storm Katia is now producing top sustained winds of 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, and it is expected to reach hurricane force tonight - just the second storm this season to become a hurricane.

Meanwhile, another storm is brewing at the west end of the Island of Cuba. That one is expected to strengthen in the Gulf, but forecast models are all over the place in their predictions of where it might strike land.

Katia was located this afternoon 1,285 miles east of the Leeward Islands. It was moving to the west-northwest at 20 mph. Forecasters expect it will stay on that course for the next 48 hours and slow a bit. One of the forecast models has Katia reaching Cat. 3 status by late Sunday or Monday.

The storm is moving along the south side of a large high-pressure system over the Atlantic. When it reaches the southwest side of that clockwise circulation, it is forecast to begin a turn to the northwest and eventually north. Just how close it gets to the East Coast by that time is the big question for Katia. Here are some of the model projections.

Mid-Atlantic residents should also be watching the disturbance cranking up at the west end of Cuba. That storm remains pretty disorganized, but forecasters have raised their estimate of its chances. They now give it a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm in the next 48 hours.

The big question for this one is where it will turn for land. The models are all over the place (see map above). Some take it toward Texas. Others turn it north and east toward the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. If it comes this way we'll likely get another big dose of rain.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:31 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: History
        

Comments

All the years I have used Wunderground I have never used the tabbed options.
I will start using them.
The obvious alluded me.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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