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Katia grows into Category 2, could become major hurricane

September 4, 2011 |  1:36 pm

Hurricane Katia
The somewhat inconsistent Katia has intensified again, this time into Category 2 status, the National Hurricane Center announced. And the storm was showing the hallmarks of becoming a major hurricane by Monday.

About midday Sunday, the storm was in the open Atlantic, north of the Leeward Islands, and moving toward the northwest, the center reported in an advisory posted on its website. It had maximum sustained winds of almost 100 mph, and was expected to grow considerably stronger.

View Forecast paths of Hurricane Katia in a larger map

Katia first achieved hurricane status late Wednesday -- the second named hurricane (after Irene). It was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, upgraded to Category 1 hurricane status on Friday, then downgraded to a tropical storm yet again on Saturday. On Sunday, it pulled itself together and managed Category 2 status. 

Still, no coastal watches or warnings have been issued. As the hurricane center says, in a bit of an understatement: "A lot of uncertainty remains in the three- to five-day forecast. "

So for now, we watch and wait -- and keep an eye on Tropical Storm Lee, currently dumping rain on Louisiana.

And of course, continue the cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Irene.


Irene leaves an old mill city foundering

Obama pledges federal help for Irene recovery

Tropical Storm Lee weakens some, still promises heavy rain

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday  shows Tropical Storm Lee about 40 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, La., and Hurricane Katia about 360 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. Credit: Associated Press / Weather Underground