Tropical Storm Nate Expected to Hit U.S. Gulf Coast as a Hurricane This Weekend

Tropical Storm Nate is forecast to hit the Yucatan Peninsula on its way into the Gulf of Mexico.
National Hurricane Center

A tropical cyclone in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has been upgraded to a named storm, Tropical Storm Nate. The system is likely to become a hurricane in the next three days and could hit the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday morning, forecasters say.

“Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system and heed any advice given by local officials,” the National Hurricane Center says.

Nate is expected to strengthen as it moves over warmer waters on its way to the U.S. coast. But at this point, the National Hurricane Center says, “it is too early to specify the timing, location, or magnitude of these impacts. ”

Nate is currently bringing heavy rainfall to Nicaragua and Honduras, as it scrapes along their coasts on a northwest track toward Cancun. The storm has triggered flood warnings in those areas, along with a hurricane watch in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos.

The cyclone currently has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, and it’s moving northwest at 8 mph. That will change later today, the National Hurricane Center says, when Nate takes a more north-northwestward path and also moves at a faster speed.

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SOURCE: NPR, Bill Chappell