"Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so and Katia could be near major hurricane strength at landfall."
Katia exploded into a Category 2 hurricane on Friday afternoon after beefing up its winds to 105 mph, and forecasters warned it could be close to major hurricane status before moving inland over Mexico.
As of its 1 p.m. advisory the National Hurricane Center said Katia was about 135 miles southeast of Tampico, Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico, and was moving west at 5 mph.
"Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so and Katia could be near major hurricane strength at landfall," the Hurricane Center reported. Hurricane force winds extend 25 miles from the center, while tropical storm force winds of up to 39 mph are occurring up to 70 mph from the center.
The estimated central pressure was 974 mb, which is 28.34 inches.
Katia is expected to move ashore Saturday morning.
A hurricane warning was in effect from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde. Tropical storm warnings were up north of Cabo Rojo to Rio Panuco, and south of Laguna Verde to Puerto Veracruz.
A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected within the warning with 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within 24 hours.
Forecasters warned the coast of Mexico could experience a storm surge of up 7 feet above normal, accompanied by large, destructive waves. Rainfall totals could exceed 15 inches over northern Veracruz, eastern Hildalgo and Puebla. Totals of 2-5 inches are expected over southern Tamaulipas, eastern San Luis Potosi, western Hildalgo, eastern Queretaro, and southern Veracruz through Saturday night.