Late Thursday afternoon, Tropical Storm Katrina was upgraded to
hurricane status as it moved slowly westward across the Florida straits and
toward southeast Florida, threatening to dump as much as 15 inches of rain on
Winds are expected to exceed 74 mph with higher gusts, according to the
National Weather Service.
Due to its relatively slow forward speed, Katrina is expected to
produce significant heavy rainfall in much of Florida. Total rainfall
accumulations of 6 to 10 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches are
A hurricane warning – which means hurricane conditions are expected
within the warning area within the next 24 hours – remains in effect for the
southeast Florida coast from Vero Beach southward to Florida City.
A tropical storm watch is also in effect for the Florida West Coast
from Florida City to Englewood, including the Florida bay. A tropical storm
watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area,
generally within 36 hours.
A tropical storm warning also remains in effect for the Grand Bahama
Island, Bimini and the Berry Islands in the northwest Bahamas. The warning has
been discontinued for the remainder of the northwest Bahamas.
At 4 p.m. EDT on Thursday, the center of the storm was located about 25
miles east-northeast of Fort Lauderdale, and was moving west.
– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer