Tropical Storm Katia forms in the Gulf

Tropical Storms Jose and Katia are both now hurricanes.

Irma appears destined to make landfall somewhere along the eastern USA coastline which means everyone who lives along the coast should remain vigilant and keep an eye out for the latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center as the forecast is likely to change again.

Katia's maximum sustained winds are 75mph (120 km/h), compared with Irma's 185 miles per hour (295 km/h), which makes the latter one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in history. However, Jose is expected to pick up even more speed and strength.

Also yesterday, the National Weather Service said Hurricane Katia formed in the Gulf off the coast of Mexico with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. The government has extended the Hurricane Watch northward along the coast to Cabo Rojo. Jose is the 10th named storm of the season. The current path of Irma shows the storm tracking over almost the entire state of Florida, with the eye most likely brushing off the east coast.

The storm, packing peak winds of 80 miles per hour, is forecast to track westward toward Mexico and make landfall as a hurricane on Friday night in the state of Veracruz.

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Jose could hit some of the same small islands in the northern Lesser Antilles decimated by Irma.

Tropical Storm Jose is expected to strengthen into a full blown hurricane by the end of the day. In Barbuda, an island east of Puerto Rico, winds ripped off the roof of a police station, forcing officers to take shelter in a nearby fire station, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Continued gradual strengthening is forecast and Jose is expected to become a hurricane by later today. There is a watch in effect for a small portion of the Mexican coast northeast of Veracruz.

The storm surge for the Turks and Caicos Islands will be between 15 and 20 feet high, literally a wall of water that will be devastating.

Interests elsewhere in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as Cuba, the central and northwestern Bahamas, and Florida have been advised to monitor the progress of Irma.

  • Marjorie Miles