Katia Gains Strength, Tropical Rains Brew In Gulf - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

STORM WATCH: Katia Upgraded To Hurricane Again

UPDATE: The storm named Katia has become a hurricane again in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said Friday. It had briefly weakened into a tropical storm but has regained strength, the Center said.

As of 11 a.m. ET, Katia was roughly 700 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands. Its maximum sustained winds were 75 mph, near the minimum level required to be classified as a hurricane.

Katia is continuing to move in a west-northwest direction at about 14 mph. It is expected to strengthen over the weekend, the Center said.

Potentially dangerous swells created by Katia are expected to begin affecting the Caribbean by late Friday, the Center noted.

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MIAMI (AP) - Katia has regained hurricane strength far out in the Atlantic and forecasters say it is expected to continue getting stronger.

Katia was about 705 miles (1,135 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands and moving west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph) with maximum sustained winds Friday of 75 mph (120 kph), making it a Category 1 hurricane.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said it's too early to tell if Katia will hit the U.S. It is expected to pass north of the Caribbean.

Meanwhile a slow-moving tropical depression is slogging toward the U.S. Gulf coast, packing walloping rains that could drench the region from Louisiana to Alabama with up to 20 inches.

      
 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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