While the Northeast continued its efforts to completely clean up after Hurricane Irene, weather forecasters on Thursday cast their eyes on the next round of storms: the newly minted Hurricane Katia inside the Atlantic, plus a formative tropical cyclone that threatens to bring heavy rains for the states along the Gulf.
NOAA’s N.H.C. in Miami elevated Katia to a Category 1 hurricane and noted within an advisory posted on its website that “some strengthening is forecasted throughout the next 48 hours … and Katia could be a major hurricane in a few days.”
Katia was 1,050 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands, moving west and north below 20 mph, according to the center. It was too soon to calculate if the storm will hit land in the U.S.
Perhaps more immediate concern to the U.S. would be a low-pressure area in the Gulf coast of Florida how the center gave a 70% chance of being a tropical cyclone within the week.
The possible results of the storm remain unclear, but AccuWeather warned that it has got the possible ways to cause sizable flooding and damage through the gulf region. Its meteorologists were concerned that the storm could bring Ten to twenty inches of rain from the Florida panhandle towards the Texas coast.
The gulf region continues to be dealing with Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 disaster that left more than 1,800 dead and caused more than $80 billion in damage.
Meanwhile, state officials in Vermont and New Jersey reported that rescue and relief efforts had resumed as rain-soaked rivers and streams continued to recede after Hurricane Irene. Helicopters, including some from the Illinois National Guard, continued to move supplies to Vermont communities, officials said.
Despite the fact that river levels were declining, many waterways remained at flood stage, according to New Jersey officials. President Obama is scheduled to see Paterson, N.J., on Sunday also to meet with Gov. Chris Christie to go over cleanup efforts.
Irene hit North Carolina on Saturday being a Category 1 hurricane and worked its way up the East Coast like a tropical storm. About 45 deaths have been attributed to the storm that has caused huge amounts of dollars in damage.