Hurricane Katia continued marching generally toward the U.S. coastline on Friday afternoon and, despite temporarily lapsing into a tropical storm, still is expected to intensify over the next five days into a category 2 system.
While forecasters say it’s still too early to say whether Katia poses a serious threat to any coastal areas, the projected path steadily has been bending in the general direction of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
Despite that trend, computer models continue to insist the system might turn north in time to miss the U.S. coast altogether and potentially threaten Bermuda, Canada or turn out to sea.
“Right now, we don’t know what if any impacts from Katia will be felt along the U.S. East Coast,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade County. “We have plenty of time to watch it.”
At 5 p.m. on Friday, Katia was in the Atlantic about 630 miles east of the Leeward Islands, moving northwest at 12 mph with sustained winds of 75 mph.
A more immediate threat to the U.S. coast: Tropical Storm Lee emerged in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday and is projected to hit the Louisiana coast nearNew Orleans on Sunday with sustained winds of 65 mph, or close to hurricane strength.
That system threatens to produce up to 20 inches of rain in southern Louisiana,Mississippi and Alabama, and the region already was feeling downpours from its fringes on Friday.
It also could generate a storm surge of up to 4 feet above ground level. A tropical storm warning has been posted for the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. At 8 p.m. on Friday, Lee was about 180 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It was crawling north at 3 mph.
Katia is expected to churn northwest over the next five days, guided by high pressure north of its path. Then a low-pressure area over the United States might weaken the high pressure and allow the system to turn north.
The timing of that turn likely will determine whether Katia hits, brushes or misses the U.S. coast.
Under the latest forecast track, Katia would to move north of the Leeward Islands on Monday, about 1,000 miles due east of Miami on Tuesday and about 700 miles east of Daytona Beach on Wednesday.
At the same time, Katia is expected to steadily bulk up over the next week to category 2 status with sustained winds of 110 mph.
However, despite returning to hurricane strength on Friday, the system was under heavy attack from wind shear, the same force that weakened it back into a tropical storm on Thursday. The overall intensity forecast has been reduced, as it earlier had been forecast to reach category 3 strength with 120 mph winds.
The hurricane center also is tracking a low-pressure system in the Atlantic about 300 miles south of Halifax, Canada, giving it a low chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm. The system is moving northeast and likely poses no serious threat to land. – Chicago Tribune
Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Sheer wind, hail and lightning. Volcanic eruptions. Hurricanes, Tsunami and tidal waves. All of Father’s arsenal is now aimed at this planet’s inhabitants.
It is Father as nature’s source of destruction and as Moses did centuries ago, we make you aware that Father is angry.