Katia speeds up in Atlantic, not clear if threat to US

August 31, 2011 12:51


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MIAMI - The US East Coast is mopping up after Hurricane Irene's weekend battering that killed around 40 people and authorities and residents are looking out anxiously over the Atlantic and asking: Is another one coming?

Tropical Storm Katia has top winds of 95 km per hour and is jogging west at a brisk 35 kph, the US National Hurricane Center said, and it could become a hurricane on Wednesday.

But beyond predicting Katia will be a major hurricane northeast of the Caribbean's northern Leeward Islands by Sunday, the Miami-based center says it is not possible now to predict its path with certainty, or say whether it will threaten the US East Coast.

"It's still well out to sea. A lot of things can happen ... We don't show it affecting any land areas for five days. Beyond that is merely speculation," NHC senior hurricane specialist Richard Pasch told Reuters.

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