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RMS : commentary on hurricane Katia

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Katia has just strengthened to hurricane status, becoming the second hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season.

The system is forecast, by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC), to track to the west over the tropical Atlantic and to be to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles towards the end of the coming weekend. It is too early at this time to determine the forecast track beyond this period and to determine if the storm will be a threat to the Caribbean, Bermuda, or the U.S.

The NHC is forecasting the system to remain at hurricane status over the next few days after which it is to strengthen to a major hurricane. Interaction with dry air to the north and east of the storm, and the development of southwesterly shear from an upper level trough in Katia’s path over the next few days, are muting the rate of Katia’s intensification. Currently, model guidance is in agreement as to a slow intensification towards major hurricane status in the next few days. Intensity guidance has reduced the strength of Katia from previous model runs, as a consequence of the wind shear.

Source : RMS