Katia To Make Landfall Later Tonight in Mexico as a Category 2 Hurricane
Hurricane Katia has been slowly intensifying and now has 105 mph winds. The storm reached category 2 strength earlier today. Katia is located off the coast of Mexico in the far western Gulf of Mexico, about 135 miles southeast of Tampico and 130 miles north of Veracruz. The storm is moving slowly to the west at 5 mph. A Hurricane Warning is in effect in Mexico for Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde with a Tropical Storm Warning from North of Cabo Rojo to Rio Panuco and South of Laguna Verde to Puerto Veracruz. Katia is a smaller storm, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending out to 70 miles.
Some additional strengthening is possible as Katia has been showing signs of a ragged eye. The cyclone may approach major hurricane intensity prior to landfall Saturday morning. After landfall, rapid weakening is expected, and Katia is forecast to dissipate over the rugged terrain of the Sierra Madre mountains after the 48 hour period. A continued slow west-southwestward motion is expected. The cyclone is under the influence of a mid-latitude high extending east from Texas.
A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 5 to 7 feet above normal tide levels near and to the north of where Katia makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Swells generated by Katia will continue to affect portions of the coast of southeastern Mexico during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Katia is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches over northern Veracruz, eastern Hidalgo, and Puebla. Katia is also expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 5 inches over southern Tamaulipas, eastern San Luis Potosi, western Hidalgo, eastern Queretaro, and southern Veracruz through Saturday evening. Isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches are possible in northern Veracruz, eastern Hidalgo, Puebla, and San Luis Potosi. This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. Hurricane force winds are expected within portions of the hurricane warning area by tonight or early Saturday, with tropical storm conditions expected within the tropical storm warning areas by later today.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels