Katia weakens to tropical depression over Mexico

Cheryl Sanders
September 13, 2017

Three hurricane-strength storms have been churning in the Atlantic for the first time since 2010What are Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose? Tropical storm Katia left at least two people dead in Mexico's Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, and threatened to inflict more landslides and flooding from heavy rains and overflowing rivers, governor Miguel Angel Yunes said on Saturday. A hurricane watch has been issued for the Mexican state of Veracruz by the Mexican government. A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect from Rio Panuco to Puerto Veracruz.

The Leeward Islands, already devastated by Irma, will be the closest land Jose will encounter, but it should not pass close enough to cause significant destruction, according to reports.

The most expensive hurricane damage recovery in recent years was after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, though those amounts may be outpaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Katia is expected to make landfall on Saturday morning, when it is forecast to become a major category 2 hurricane with winds of up to 110mph, the NHC said.

The eye of Irma passed over Barbuda, a tiny Caribbean island of about 1,800 residents, on Wednesday, destroying telecommunication systems and cell towers.

Irma's powerful center could pass just north of Puerto Rico - a U.S. territory of about 3.4 million people - on Wednesday afternoon and night, threatening heavy rain and risky coastal storm surges, forecasters said.

The Category 1 hurricane's winds were 85 miles per hour and is moving west at 3 miles per hour. But Irma and Jose are another case.

Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the NHC's projections showed the hurricane hitting the oil-rich state of Veracruz around the end of the week. "They need conditions that are very conducive in order to form", said Gerry Bell, a lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center.

Hurricane-force winds extend out 15 miles from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles.

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