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Katia picks up speed in Atlantic

Katia picks up speed in Atlantic
This NOAA satellite image released on September 7, 2011 shows Hurricane Katia as it moves between Bermuda and the U.S. UPI/NOAA | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Hurricane Katia picked up speed as it moved northeast across the Atlantic Friday, generating swells that threatened the U.S. East Coast, forecasters said.

In its 11 p.m. EDT update, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Katia was about 365 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 727 miles north-northeast of Bermuda, moving east-northeast at 46 mph.

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Hurricane-force winds extended up to 70 miles and tropical storm-force winds to 255 miles from Katia's center.

Forecasters expected the Category 1 hurricane to gain forward speed but weaken slowly during the next 24 hours but it will remain a large and powerful storm before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone.

Beaches along the northeastern coast of the United States and Bermuda are threatened by Katia. Swells generated by the storm are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, forecasters said.

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