MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Katia formed over the open Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, becoming the 11th named storm of the 2011 hurricane season, U.S. forecasters said.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Katia was about 535 miles southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and was moving quickly west northwestward across the Atlantic.
It was too soon to gauge the storm's potential threat to the U.S. East Coast or energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico with any confidence.
But Katia was packing top sustained winds of about 40 miles per hour and was forecast to become a powerful Category 2 hurricane by the weekend, the Miami-based hurricane center said.
Katia was the second named storm to form since Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season, swirled up the U.S. East Coast over the weekend.
The peak period of the June-November season still has many weeks to run.
(Reporting by Naveed Anjum; editing by Christopher Wilson)