Hurricane Katia weakens to a Category 3 storm

By the Associated Press | September 6, 2011 | 4:55 AM EDT

C0RRECTS THE POSITOIN OF THE GTROPICAL DEPRESSION -- An image released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made Monday Sept. 5, 2011 shows Hurricane Katia, right, as it moves northwest through the Atlantic ocean. At LEFT is the tropical depression moving up from the Gulf coast. (AP Photo/NOAA)

MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Katia has weakened to a Category 3 storm as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean after briefly becoming a Category 4 system.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Katia's maximum sustained winds early Tuesday have decreased to near 125 mph (205 kph). The hurricane center says some fluctuation in strength is possible over the next 24 hours followed by slow weakening.

Forecast maps show Katia veering to the northeast, away from the U.S. in the coming week, but the hurricane center says large swells from the hurricane could affect the East Coast, Bermuda, the Greater Antilles and parts of the Bahamas over the next few days.

Katia is centered about 400 miles (645 kilometers) south of Bermuda and moving northwest near 10 mph (17 kph).