The recovery from Hurricane Irene in the U.S. Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions has only just begun, but another tropical disturbance, Tropical Storm Katia, is slowly strengthening over the eastern tropical Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Katia is expected to become a hurricane by late Wednesday or early Thursday, the center said, but it's yet unclear if it would hit the U.S.

On Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. EDT, the storm was located about 630 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands, packing maximum sustained winds of about 45 mph. It's moving north/north-west at 17 mph and has top winds of 40 mph.

The depression over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Katia, according to The Weather Channel.

Computer models suggest Katia should move north of the Leeward Islands over the weekend. However, that's a long way off and the forecast could change, so interests in the Leeward Islands should check back for future updates on Katia.

The Weather Channel's projection cone has Katia moving toward Guadeloupe or points north by early Sunday, intensifying to a Category 3 hurricane, with top wind speeds increasing to 115 mph.

However, it's too soon to determine if any land areas will eventually be affected.