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Hurricane Katia races toward U.K.

LONDON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Hurricane Katia raced eastward across the northern Atlantic Ocean Saturday, heading for the British Isles, forecasters said.

Katia is expected to punish the United Kingdom with winds up to 80 miles per hour and heavy rains that are likely to produce flooding in some areas, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its last advisory on the storm.

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The U.S. forecasters said Katia was moving to the east-northeast at 53 mph, a track the storm was expected to follow for the next couple of days. Katia was expected to be over or near the northern British Isles Monday.

Katia was pushing hurricane-force winds out up to 80 miles from its eye, with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 310 miles.

Gale- to storm-force winds are expected to whip the British Isles Monday and could cause damage to trees, and disrupt transportation and other public services, the U.S. forecasters said. Britain was to expect life-threatening surf and rip currents, along with 2-4 inches of rain over the western mountains of Scotland through Monday.

The high winds this weekend could cause flash flooding, downed trees and transportation delays in Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern Britain, The Guardian reported Friday.

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The Met Office issued a "be prepared" severe weather warning for Monday in Scotland and Northern Ireland, The Herald reported.

Katia is the second major hurricane to come out of the Atlantic hurricane season. At one point, it was rated a Category 4 storm, five being the most severe, Sky News reported.

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