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Tropical Storm Katia could become a hurricane

Aug. 31, 2011 at 11:18 PM

MIAMI, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Katia became the second Atlantic hurricane of the season Wednesday and threatened to become a major hurricane by the weekend, forecasters in Miami said.

In its 11 p.m. EDT update, the National Hurricane Center said Katia was about 1.165 miles east of the Leeward Islands, with top sustained winds of 75 mph, and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph.

Katia, a Category 1 storm, was expected to continue on the same general motion and gradually lose forward speed during the next 48 hours -- and could become a major hurricane by the end of the week.

Hurricane force winds extended outward as much as 25 miles from the storm's center and tropical force winds extended as much as 125 miles, the center said.

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect and there were no hazards affecting land.

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