Did you know that the World Meteorological Organization periodically retires a name from its six annual storm lists when that name’s storm wreaks significant destruction?
For example, the name “Katrina” was retired in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina reached Category 5 strength over the Gulf of Mexico, slammed into New Orleans and its surrounding areas as a Category 3, and took the lives of nearly 1,400 people.
Since replacing “Katrina,” the name “Katia” has been assigned to hurricanes in 2011 and 2017. Named on a different list, Tropical Storm Katia approached Madagascar in 1970.
On September 2, the national weather services named and began tracking Tropical Storm Katia, the 11th tropical storm of this 2023 season. Communities in any tropical storm’s path need to evaluate how serious an impact the storm might have in their area and take appropriate precautions. Fortunately, Katia formed in the eastern tropical Atlantic and remained at sea. By September 4, Katia had already returned to tropical depression status.
Whether or not Katia would become a hurricane connected directly to its wind speed. All named storms are a form of tropical cyclone, a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-level circulation.
Often beginning as a tropical depression, the cyclone at that stage has sustained wind speeds of less than 39 mph. Tropical depressions are not given names but are tracked to determine if they are growing into tropical storms or hurricanes. Katia’s classification as a tropical storm and the release of its name happened when its sustained wind speed reached 39 mph. If Katia’s speed had reached 74 mph, it would have become a Category 1 hurricane.
As a tropical storm or a hurricane, Katia had the potential of threatening lives and property.
When Was Hurricane Katia?
If you’ve asked yourself, “When did Hurricane Katia hit?” or “What year was Hurricane Katia?” you can find two previous examples in weather records.
“Katia” has been the name of two hurricanes in 2011 and 2017.
That means Tropical Storm Katia reached hurricane status on each of its first two appearances on the named storms list since Katrina was retired in 2005.
Where Did Hurricane Katia Hit?
In some years, a hurricane holds together over the Atlantic long enough to impact Europe as it dissipates. This was the case with Hurricane Katia in 2011. Thought it reached its peak strength over the ocean, the final storms generated by the system impacted the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia.
In 2017, Hurricane Katia moved through Mexico’s Bay of Campeche and made landfall near Tecolutla, impacting 53 Mexican municipalities.
What Category Was Hurricane Katia?
• In 2011, while moving over the Atlantic well north of the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Katia achieved its Category 4 rating with a peak windspeed of 140 mph.
• Hurricane Katia achieved Category 2 status with 105 mph winds in 2017.
What Time Will Hurricane Katia Make Landfall?
While researching the storm name “Katia,” perhaps you asked, “What time did Hurricane Katia make landfall?” during previous storms.
Keep in mind, the data of any historic storm has no impact on the behavior of a current cyclone.
With any severe storm predicted to reach your region, you should be aware of the predicted landfall.
Especially with hurricanes, do not make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to reach a safe area.
How Many People Died in Hurricane Katia?
Besides the reports of property damage caused by a tropical storm or hurricane, you might ask, “Did anyone die in Hurricane Katia?”
• The deaths of two U.S. swimmers in Florida and Maine were attributed to rip tides from Hurricane Katia in 2011.
The storm lost its hurricane status as it neared Europe, but there was additional loss of life. After transitioning to a post-tropical cyclone, its gale-force winds still gusted to 98 mph. In the U.K., a tree falling on a minivan killed the driver and injured the passenger. The hazardous weather was blamed for a multi-car highway accident that killed another driver. As far away as Russia, the remnants of Katia damaged buildings.
In 2017, Hurricane Katia brought floods, mudslides, and strong winds to areas in Mexico recently hit by a historic earthquake. In some areas, the equivalent of nearly two months of rainfall came within hours.
• The resulting mudslides killed two people. Floodwaters swept away another victim.
What Was the Path of Hurricane Katia?
Hurricane Katia’s path in 2011 began as a tropical wave off the coast of West Africa.
After crossing the Atlantic for three days, it grew into Tropical Storm Katia. Another two days, and Katia was a Category 1 hurricane as it approached the Leeward Islands.
After reaching peak intensity as a Category 4 storm, Katia veered toward the northeast, heading toward Europe and weakening.
In 2017, Hurricane Katia’s entire life cycle rapidly evolved in the Bay of Campeche and the larger Gulf of Mexico before dissipating on the Mexican mainland.
Convoy of Hope & Hurricanes
Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization that includes a multinational children’s feeding initiative, coordinates community outreaches, and responds to natural disasters. Convoy of Hope responded to its first disaster in 1998 — flooding in Del Rio, Texas, brought on by Tropical Storm Charley.
Each hurricane season, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team closely follows weather updates concerning any named storm. At Convoy’s World Distribution Center, plans for a response begin to come together days ahead of a predicted landfall. A convoy of trucks heads to the affected area to supply one or more distribution points once the danger has passed and a community’s needs become clear.
Volunteers and Convoy team members man each distribution point, usually a local church.
Lines of cars form to receive groceries, bottled water, bags of ice, cleaning supplies, and other resources desperately needed following a storm’s impact on a community.
If storm damage is severe, Convoy may organize a long-term recovery response. For example, Convoy held a recovery event in LaPlace, Louisiana, in November 2022 for regions hit hard by 2021’s Hurricane Ida.
Convoy of Hope Disaster Services responds to natural disasters around the world, offering help and hope to people facing some of the most challenging circumstances in their lives.
Since 2011, Convoy of Hope's #Agriculture initiative has trained more than 25,000 participants in best practices, with the goal of reaching 100,000 by 2030. We're sharing a staff member's experience seeing this programming in #Tanzania: http://h.ope.is/3PUz8BM