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Hurricane Katia has formed in the Gulf off the coast of Mexico

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Updated September 06, 2017 05:41 PM EDT

Katia has strengthened to a hurricane in the Gulf off the coast of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and is expected to strengthen over the next 48 hours.

The government of Mexico has issued a Hurricane Watch, which means hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, for the coast of the state of Veracruz from Tuxpan to Laguna Verde.

Updated September 06, 2017 10:45 AM EDT

Tropical Storm Katia is forecast to become a hurricane and a Hurricane Watch could be required for parts of the Mexican state of Veracruz later Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

"Strengthening is forecast and Katia could become a hurricane before it approaches the coast of Veracruz in a couple of days," the NHC said, noting that an Air Force reconnaissance plane will check on the storm later Wednesday.

The storm is "moving little" in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the NHC said. As of 10 a.m. EST, it was centered about 135 miles east-southeast of Tampico, Mexico and about 175 miles north of Veracruz, Mexico. It is moving east-southeast at 5 p.m., and "little motion" is expected over the next day or so.

Katia's maximum sustained winds have increased to 45 mph, with higher gusts. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from its center, the NHC said.

As Texas recovers from Harvey and Hurricane Irma tears through the Caribbean with Tropical Storm Jose following behind, Tropical Storm Katia formed early Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico.

Katia's maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph, and some strengthening is expected over the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Katia is centered about 105 miles east of Tampico, Mexico, and it is moving east-southeast at about 2 mph.

The storm is expected to remain offshore through Friday morning, according to the NHC.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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