NASA sees Tropical Storm Katia develop near Mexico's east coast

NASA sees Tropical Storm Katia develop near Mexico's east coast

NASA sees Tropical Storm Katia develop near Mexico's east coast

A third hurricane, Katia, is now swirling off the coast of Mexico and is forecast to approach land on Friday or Saturday.

Unlike Hurricane Irma's path, Hurricane Jose is forecast to move north and away from Puerto Rico and remain in the Atlantic Ocean, avoiding numerous chains of Caribbean islands that Irma has wrecked. The image showed that deep convection and thunderstorms were forming over the center.

Hurricane Katia churned 215 miles east of Tampico, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. The western quadrant of the storm was over the east coast state of Veracruz, Mexico.

Katia is expected to drop up to 10 inches of rain in the Mexican coastal state of Veracruz, and lesser amounts on the states of Tamaulipas and Puebla through Saturday, though "isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible", the NHC warned.

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Jose and Katia strengthened Wednesday afternoon, bringing the number of hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin to three. Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so and Katia could be near major hurricane strength at landfall.

Maximum sustained winds are near 90 miles per hour (150 kph) with higher gusts. The estimated minimum central pressure is 977 millibars. But the hurricane center says Katia is expected to stay offshore through Friday morning.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti, Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Southeastern Bahamas.

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