As much of the East Coast continues the cleanup from Hurricane Irene, the 11th named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season has roared to life.

Tropical Storm Katia strengthened overnight Thursday into a Category 1 hurricane. Currently located about 1,065 miles east of the Leeward Islands, the storm has maximum sustained winds of about 75 miles per hour.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center expect Katia to continue to grow, becoming a Category 3 storm by the weekend. Hurricane Katia’s projected path is still being determined, but the extended forecast maps show it passing north of the Caribbean.

Meteorologists are also watching a storm system in the Gulf of Mexico that could organize into Tropical Storm Lee within the next few days. People living in the Gulf states are urged to monitor the situation over the Labor Day weekend.


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