Katia Likely to Become a Hurricane Today

As of 11:00 a.m. AST on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 (NHC Advisory #10): Tropical Storm Katia is expected to reach hurricane strength sometime today. Currently, Katia has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is moving WNW (285°) at 21 mph. The long-range forecast calls for continued strengthening, with Katia reaching major hurricane strength by Sunday morning.

The Cape Canaveral forecast is showing signs of ground swell from Katia beginning Sunday, with 17-second ESE (108°) forerunners. The surf is forecast to continue building through next Wednesday, with swell conditions reaching the 8 feet at 14 seconds range by mid-day.

The forecast looks similar in New York, with Southeast swell also expected to arrive late Sunday (2 feet at 16 seconds, 132°) and increase into Wednesday (7 feet at 14 seconds, 134°). Good news for the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York, which begins on Sunday with the trials.

Hopefully Katia maintains an offshore track and avoids landfall on the East Coast. Things are looking favorable at the moment, but keep an eye on the National Hurricane Center advisories for the latest updates. Also keep an eye on the Wavewatch forecasts as they continue to develop.

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