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Tropical storm Katia forms in Atlantic

August 31, 2011

cbc

The name Katia replaces Katrina, which was retired from the rotating roster of storm names after the devastating 2005 storm that devastated New Orleans. The name Katia replaces Katrina, which was retired from the rotating roster of storm names after the devastating 2005 storm that devastated New Orleans. ((U.S. National Hurricane Center)

Tropical storm Katia has formed in the Atlantic and could reach hurricane intensity by late Wednesday or early Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center says.

By late Tuesday afternoon, Katia was located about 1,207 kilometres west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and moving “quickly west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic,” the Miami-based centre said Tuesday.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds had increased to 97 km/h by Tuesday afternoon, and additional strengthening is forecast over the next 48 hours. Katia could become a hurricane by Wednesday, the hurricane centre said.

Hurricane specialist Michael Brennan said Tuesday morning that Katia could affect the Caribbean, but that it was too early to tell if it would hit the U.S.

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said forecast models indicate the storm could reach hurricane status as it tracks just north of the Caribbean.

The name Katia replaces Katrina in the rotating storm roster because of the catastrophic damage from the 2005 storm that devastated New Orleans.

The new storm comes on the heels of Irene, which hit several U.S. states along the Eastern Seaboard as a hurricane before weakening into a tropical storm as it moved north.

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