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Hurricane Katia update

It’s currently thought that an elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure across the eastern U.S. will help steer Katia away from U.S. shores.

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 5, 2011. 5:30 EDT (21:30 UTC). We know many on the U.S. East Coast are nervous about Hurricane Katia. Here is some possibly good news. It is beginning to look as if Hurricane Katia – which is still out in the Atlantic Ocean – will veer away from U.S. shores.

However, Katia could become a major hurricane tonight or tomorrow. Katia now has sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (mph) and is moving northwest at 13 mph. Katia has had less wind shear to interact with, which is why the storm is gradually getting stronger and becoming better organized.

Forecast track for Hurricane Katia. Image Credit: National Hurricane Center.

Katia will likely be influenced by a trough – an elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure – across the eastern United States. This region of low pressure will help steer Katia away from the U.S.  A lot of the models agree on this scenario, so confidence is building. Here is what the spaghetti models look like regarding Katia:

Various model runs showing the track of Katia. All of them show movement away from land. Image Credit: SFWMD.gov

I think there is a chance that Katia could push further west and scare a few people, but ultimately, Katia will not directly hit the United States coast. Surf and rip currents will be an issue toward the end of the week.

I’ll have a more in-depth update soon.

Bottom line: Hurricane Katia is building strength, but it does not appear now as if it will head toward the U.S.

Matt Daniel

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