Katia became the second hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season yesterday when it reached category 1 status. Katia has since weakened back to a tropical storm as it encounters less favorable conditions. The storm currently packs sustained winds of around 70 mph (110 kmph), equivalent to a strong tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm is currently located approximately 750 miles (1,205 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands. Katia is traveling in a west-northwest direction and a change in track towards the northwest is expected over the next couple of days. The NHC said tropical storm force winds extend 175 miles (280 kilometers) from the center of the storm.
Forecasters expect the storm to take a turn towards the northwest over the next couple of days. This path will see Katia continue to move across the mid-Atlantic and pass to the north of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola through the weekend and into early next week. The official NHC prediction has Katia strengthening over the 5 day forecast range, with forecasters expecting the storm to re-intensify into a category 1 hurricane tomorrow. Further strengthening is predicted thereafter as Katia moves into a more favorable environment for intensification. Current forecasts expect Katia to be a category 3 hurricane by September 7. The storm poses no immediate threat to land and it remains unclear at this stage whether it will impact the United States, Bermuda or the Caribbean. According to reports, some forecast models show the system eventually curving away from the United States coastline as a low pressure trough moves away from the United States northeast and draws Katia with it. However, other models show a weaker trough that will allow Katia to maintain its current path and approach the U.S. coastline next week.
Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or GC Analytics (SM) representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.
Guy Carpenter will continue to closely monitor Katia’s progress and provide an update on September 5.
Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Associated Press, Reuters News, Agence France Presse
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