Tropical Storm Katia stirs up worries
The storm is supposed to be a major hurricane in the next few days. Sound familiar?
The Charleston area might be in for a few more days of hurricane worries with Tropical Storm Katia spinning up in the Atlantic Ocean. Crunch day should be Friday or Saturday, when the storm is off Puerto Rico. On Tuesday, computer models suggested it will begin a turn to north then, miss the Bahamas and pass South Carolina well out to sea.
But that's too far away for forecasters to trust the models.
"A lot of the models are keeping it on a much sharper turn. But at this point it's still too far out to tell what effect it might have on the Southeast coast," said Julie Packett, National Weather Service meteorologist in Charleston.
Meteorologist Jeff Masters, on the Weather Underground website, said only that the storm's future path is unknown.
Early Wednesday, Katia’s maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 kph) with additional strengthening expected.
Katia is centered about 985 miles (1,585 kilometers) west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and is moving west-northwest near 21 mph (33 kph).
"Any system that moves north of the Bahamas should get picked up and sent out to sea as a continuous stream of upper-level troughs move through the northern part of the U.S. in the coming weeks," said Bob Smerbeck, AccuWeather.com meteorologist, on the company website. But if one those troughs hangs up over the Midwest, the storm would track farther west toward the East Coast, he said.
History, at least, is in our favor. In the past, only 47 percent of tropical storms that were in Katia's position on Tuesday made landfall somewhere in the United States, according to Florida State University researcher Robert Hart. Only 5 percent of the time did a storm in that position make landfall in South Carolina.