August 14, 2018

Where is Tropical Storm Nate going and when will it hit?


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UPDATE: Since this article was written TD 16 is now tropical Storm Nate (as of 9am Thu Oct 5). All graphics have been updated to this time stamp.

Tropical Depression 16, churning over warm Caribbean water Wednesday, was poised to become Tropical Storm Nate sometime in the coming hours. The depression was about 200 miles southeast of , moving northwest at 7 mph with winds of about 35 mph.

Depression 16 was expected to continue on its northwest trajectory, nearing the coast of Nicaragua and by Thursday. Both places had tropical; storm warnings in effect. While it’s too early to predict with certainty the future path of the storm, the United States Gulf Coast, including portions of coastal Louisiana and Florida, could see an impact by the weekend.

“The system is forecast to continue strengthening over the Gulf of and could affect portions of the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane this weekend, with direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall,” the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday. “However it is too early to specify the timing or magnitude of these impacts.”

The storm could bring up to 20 inches of rain in Nicaragua Thursday, while forecasts predicted it would pass over the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun on Friday. The storm would likely reach the Gulf of Mexico by Friday, continuing on a northbound path as it gets stronger. Sunday would likely bring it to the Gulf Coast.

A tropical depression is categorized as a storm with winds of less than 39 mph, while a tropical storm has winds between 39 mph and 73 mph. A hurricane occurs when winds reach between 74 mph and 110 mph, while a major hurricane is categorized as one with wind speeds greater than 100 mph, according to the National Weather Center. Warm waters mean Nate has the potential to eventually intensify into a hurricane.

“We could quickly have a powerful hurricane on our hands,” said AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski. “There is the potential for a tropical storm or hurricane to make landfall along the Gulf Coast from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle this weekend.”

In addition to the Gulf Coast, Nicaragua and Honduras, forecasts warned those in southeastern Mexico, Cuba, the and Belize to keep a careful eye on the storm’s trajectory in the coming days. Alabama and Mississippi could also see winds and flooding, according to AccuWeather. Nate could make its way inland by Monday, bringing heavy rain and flooding into the Appalachians and parts of the Carolinas, the Weather Channel reported.

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