Hurricane Katia expected to strengthen as it nears Mexico

Hurricane Katia expected to strengthen as it nears Mexico

Forecasters have predicted damaging winds, drenching rains and a unsafe storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Katia has been downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression as it moves into the interior of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center, NHC, has announced.

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, is expected to pass north of Puerto Rico Thursday morning, through the Bahamas on Friday and into South Florida on Sunday.

It says the storm was centered about 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of the port of Veracruz and it seems headed for strike early Saturday in an area known as the Emerald Coast that is popular with Mexican tourists.

Katia is a much smaller storm than Hurricane Irma, which is causing devastation in the Caribbean and is expected to arrive in Florida this weekend.

The natural disaster, the strongest to strike Mexico in more than 80 years, killed at least 61 people.

Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, made landfall in Cuba on Friday as a Category 5 storm.

As Katia rapidly weakened, Hurricane Jose continued to gather strength far out in the Atlantic. At the same time, Irma strengthened back into a Category 5 storm Friday night, after weakening to a Category 4 earlier in the day.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for St. Martin, Sint Maarten and St. Barthelemy, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Related Articles