Storm closes in on the Leeward Islands
Tropical storm Katia, which weakened after developing into a hurricane for a brief period, is moving closer to the northern Leeward Islands.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday September 2, 2011 – Sea swells generated by what is now Tropical Storm Katia are expected to begin affecting the Lesser Antilles by late today as the system closes in on the Leeward Islands with the possibility of reaching hurricane strength again.
And forecasters are warning that those swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
For now, though, Katia poses no threat to any land masses.
Katia developed into the second hurricane for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season, east of the Leeward Islands, on Wednesday night but was downgraded to a storm again less than 24 hours later.
This morning, the storm was located 705 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and carried maximum sustained winds near 70 miles per hour, 4 miles per hour shy of hurricane strength.
According to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami, while little change in strength is expected today, Katia could become a hurricane again over the weekend.
The storm is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour and a motion toward the northwest at a slower forward speed is expected for the next couple of days.
The projected path continues to keep the system well north of Puerto Rico next Monday and east of the Bahamas on Tuesday.