Tropical Storm Katia is expected to strengthen to a hurricane today, as it heads for the battered US East Coast.

Risk modelling firm EQECAT said in a statement: “Given the warm sea surface temperatures and low wind shear environment the storm is moving through over the next several days, Katia is forecast to continue to strengthen to a major hurricane on Sunday 4 September."

"The forecast track of Katia places a low probability on a US landfall, and higher probability of impacting Bermuda, although there is significant uncertainty in track estimation at this time,” the statement added.

While Katia remains distant from the islands of the Caribbean, forecasting models are showing some probability that Katia could threaten the US Atlantic coast next week.

The National Hurricane Center forecast is noting that a weakness in the Atlantic high produced by a low-pressure trough moving into the Western Atlantic later this week is expected to induce a gradual turn to the northwest.

Certainty in the track projection will increase as this pattern develops during the week. However, some long-term global forecast models show the Atlantic High re-strengthening next week, and this may block Katia’s track to the north and steer it back more toward the northwest which could produce a threat to the US mainland.