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Why you Should Take Cover From Katia - and There's Another Storm on the Way

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It's not the first time this season a tropical storm that wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and eastern seaboard of the USA ends up blowing out its final days close to the shores of the UK.

A couple of weeks ago Hurricane Irene did just that, travelling across the North Atlantic and slowing down close to Iceland. She pummeled wind and lashed rain in all directions - leading to a nasty start to September for the British Isles. Irene caused extensive damage and a number of tragic deaths in the USA; luckily across the Pond, it just left a lot of school kids frustrated as they tried to enjoy the last throws of their summer holidays in wellies and waterproofs.

Now Katia has arrived; it cut a sharp path across the Atlantic on a strong jet stream and now this powerful post tropical cyclone spreads her rage over NW Europe.

Should us weather obsessed Brits be worried? Well yes, to be honest. This ex-hurricane is potent and currently blowing gusts of 60-70mph over Scotland and North Wales, stronger winds have been measured over exposed hills.

These winds are strong enough to topple trucks. Given the high tides for the next 24 hours we can also expect sea spray hitting coasts and waves overtopping barriers, my advice is to stay away from any exposure (I was once soaked by a 10 feet wave when broadcasting on GMTV, despite my smiles I was extremely scared - I was also very lucky, a family lost their lives in the same spot due to similar conditions a few months later.)

Ex hurricanes that hit the UK tend to give us bad weather for a few days. These storms are notoriously difficult to forecast correctly. There is so much energy entrained within them, at least a couple of miles deep and 500 miles diameter, that even the best computer models can be fooled. These beasts can carry on producing rain and wind longer than expected. One particular storm back in the mid nineties flummoxed us forecasters for nearly a week - everyday we expected it to dissipate only to see its relentless nature continue to batter Britain.

Forecast charts show ex Katia over Scandinavia come Wednesday lunchtime and winds will ease properly later that day. But anyone who likes a spot of surfing can expect sea swell to remain above 10 feet into Wednesday morning and hover around 5 feet into the weekend (obviously this will vary with location, check out this fabulous website http://magicseaweed.com/ ).

So in a nutshell, no we don't get hurricanes this far north - the cool waters of the Northern Atlantic takes out most of the sting, but because of the position of the Jet Stream that at times is a trans-Atlantic link from the USA to the UK, we can get a modified, weakened version - known as 'post tropical storms'.

It has been a busy start to the autumn weather-wise and just looking at Tropical Storm Maria, which currently is affecting the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the extreme northern Leeward Islands today, may follow a similar path to Katia later this week according to www.nhc.noaa.gov - it's a case of watch this space and we'll see what she has to offer the UK early next week.

Follow weather forecaster and broadcaster Clare Nasir on twitter @clarenasir