Hurricane Katia strengthens on slow path to Mexican coast


Maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles per hour (75 kph) with higher gusts.

Jose, following a similar path to Irma in the eastern Atlantic, has grown into an extremely unsafe Category 4 hurricane with 150 miles per hour winds.

The storm made landfall Friday night north of Tecolutla, Mexico.

As Katia was making landfall, Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, walloped Cuba's northern coast as a Category 5 storm.

The last couple of years were quiet for Atlantic hurricanes, which makes this year seem even worse, said Colorado State University meteorology professor Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane expert. The storm was expected to weaken rapidly over the next day, the NHC said.

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Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's national emergency services, said this week that Katia has "worrying characteristics" because it is very slow-moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks. Irma has now been downgraded to a Category 4 storm.

The eye of Irma passed over Barbuda, a tiny Caribbean island of about 1,800 residents, on Wednesday, destroying telecommunication systems and cell towers. By 4 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center noted that the depression had formed.

The remnants of Katia are expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches over central and northern Veracruz, eastern Hidalgo, and northern Puebla through this afternoon. And then there is Hurricane Katia, just a shade under major hurricane status, due to hit Mexico's Gulf coast.

There are now three hurricanes in the Atlantic.

St. Martin and St. Bart remained under tropical storm warnings as of Saturday evening.