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ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM Hurricane Katia Discussion Number 8 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL132017 1000 AM CDT Thu Sep 07 2017 An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft found that the central pressure had dropped to 982 mb and maximum SFMR-observed surface winds were close to 70 kt. Therefore 70 kt will be retained for the current intensity. Vertical wind shear should remain low over the southwest Gulf of Mexico for the next couple of days and the global models show well-developed upper-level outflow over the tropical cyclone. Thus, further strengthening is likely up to landfall. The official intensity forecast is somewhat higher than the model consensus and Katia could approach major hurricane status before it crosses that coast. Fixes from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft show essentially no motion over the last several hours. A mid-level ridge is likely to build to the north of Katia during the next day or so. This should induce a west-southwestward motion beginning tonight or early Friday, leading to landfall by late Friday or early Saturday. The official track forecast is similar to the previous one and close to the model consensus. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 07/1500Z 21.6N 94.6W 70 KT 80 MPH 12H 08/0000Z 21.4N 95.0W 80 KT 90 MPH 24H 08/1200Z 21.2N 95.5W 90 KT 105 MPH 36H 09/0000Z 20.7N 96.5W 90 KT 105 MPH 48H 09/1200Z 19.9N 97.9W 40 KT 45 MPH...INLAND 72H 10/1200Z...DISSIPATED $$ Forecaster Pasch NNNN