Hurricane Katia strengthens to Category 2 as it nears Mexico

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"Based upon the latest observation and analysis, Hurricane Jose could come very close to the Leeward Islands by early Saturday", the center said in a statement.

According to Mexico's National Meteorological Service, Hurricane Katia will hit the state of Veracruz Friday evening or Saturday morning. Jose has maximum sustained winds around 90 miles per hour, and forecasters expect it will be upgraded to a major hurricane by Friday. Storms of Category 3 and above are defined as major hurricanes.

Forecasters use many metrics to describe the severity of a storm-wind speed, sea surface temperature, barometric pressure-but the most dramatic may be the accumulated cyclone energy index (ACE).

It's the first time in recorded history that there were two hurricanes with winds of at least 150 miles per hour in the Atlantic at the same time.

At 7 a.m. CDT (8 a.m. EDT/1200 UTC) on September 8 the center of Hurricane Katia was located near 21.1 degrees north latitude and 95.6 degrees west longitude. Isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible in northern Veracruz.

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"Everyone who lives in an area at risk of landslides must vacate their homes, because it will continue to rain, the ground is getting softer and we should not run risks", said Yunes.

- Storm surge: A unsafe storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 5 to 7 feet above normal tide levels near and to the north of where Katia makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

- Watches and warnings: A hurricane warning is in effect for Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde.

The hurricane quickly lost strength after hitting land and was downgraded to a tropical storm.

Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of a huge quake that struck on Thursday night, and President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Friday that Katia could be especially unsafe in hillsides rocked by the magnitude 8.1 tremor.

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