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Tuesday update: Katia is big, but well behaved

This storm is a monster - but thankfully, like all along, our friend Katia does appear to be a "fish storm". In fact, the storm will do a great job at splitting the goal posts between North Carolina and Bermuda on Thursday. Maybe I can add her to my fantasy team?

Our strongest storm of the year (so far)

We've been able to look at some really impressive satellite images with Katia over the past 24 hours. The storm has had a very large eye at times. Early today, the eye has become obscured - which is common for very strong hurricanes. Often you'll see storms like Katia oscillate back and forth in intensity. Right now, Katia is a much more impressive hurricane than Irene ever was - and by far our 'big storm' of 2011 so far. Here's a great visible satellite loop from the University of Wisconsin.

Notice how you can see right through the eye wall, even down to the surface circulation. From thousands of miles in the sky, hurricanes can actually be quite beautiful.

All Going According to Plan

There's really no news to report as far as our forecast thinking with Katia. The storm has strengthened into a major hurricane just as though, and the path projections are still the same. With the storm just beginning to approach the edge of the sub-tropical ridge and the large southerly flow created by Lee on the East Coast it should begin to turn more northerly on Wednesday.

Even though we may have to deal with a weak, brief tornado or two today - Lee is saving us from much more damage from Katia!


The storm's closest approach will be Thursday, when the eye will pass some 400 miles offshore of the Wilmington area. This means no rain, no wind -- good news!

Any impacts?

You will likely not SEE any impacts of Hurricane Katia as she passes later this week... BUT, beach goers beware! We already are finding dangerous, life threatening rip currents at the beaches. These WILL get worse heading to the end of the week. Especially with many lifeguards off for the season, it is essential that swimmers stay out of the water!

A little known fact, rip currents kill more people than any other weather-related event in Southeastern North Carolina. (more than fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, anything!)

Wait... there's more?

Unfortunately in September we never have to wait long to find our next storm... Here comes Maria!

These big 'ole blog in the Atlantic surely will be our next system that we're watching. Models are wrestling over how strong it will be / where it will go, but I'm pretty sure we'll see another storm out of this one by the end of the week.

And that will be our project for next week!

That's all for now. May the hurricane gods be good to us

- TB

By: Tim Buckley

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