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Tropical Storm Katia becomes hurricane in Gulf of Mexico

TAMPICO, Mexico (UPI) — Katia became the third hurricane active in the Atlantic on Wednesday, joining Irma and Jose, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Katia became the third hurricane currently active in the Atlantic region Wednesday evening. (Image courtesy NOAA)

Katia formed in the early morning in the southern Gulf of Mexico and by evening had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. The NHC said the storm is expected to stay off the coast of Mexico through Friday morning, making landfall sometime overnight.

As of its 7 p.m. update, the NHC said Katia was 195 miles east of Tampico, Mexico, and 190 miles north-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico. It was moving southeast at 3 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Forecasters said the storm should begin a southwestward drift Thursday.

The government of Mexico issued a hurricane watch for the coast from Tuxpan to Laguna Verde.

Katia is forecast to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over northern Veracruz, and 2 to 5 inches over far southern Tamaulipas, northeast Puebla and southern Veracruz through Saturday morning. In isolated parts of northern Veracruz, up to 15 inches of rain are possible.

Katia is the 11th named storm this season in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Irma, were both churning in the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday evening.

Written by UPI writers Allen Cone and Danielle Haynes

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Tropical Storm Katia becomes hurricane in Gulf of Mexico