Tropical Storm Nate forecast to hit the Gulf Coast as a hurricane: what we know

Atlantic hurricane season, which has already broken a few records, isn’t over. And indeed, there’s another one in the making.

On Thursday, Tropical Storm Nate made landfall over Nicaragua and Honduras with 40 mph winds, bringing 15 to 20 inches of rain. It’s expected to continue northward, clipping the Yucatan Peninsula, and then head through the Gulf of Mexico, where it’s likely to hit warm patches of water that will help it intensify into a hurricane. According to the Associated Press, Nate has been responsible for 22 deaths in Central America, mainly due to flooding.

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Nate will intensify into a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds as it approaches the Gulf Coast of the United States.

“The threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall is increasing,” the Hurricane Center reported Thursday. “However, it is too early to specify the exact timing, location, or magnitude of these impacts.”

The current forecast shows Nate reaching the Gulf Coast — somewhere between Louisiana and Florida — by Sunday.

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, which sits on edge of the low-lying Mississippi Delta just south of New Orleans, has already ordered evacuations. (As Weather Underground explains, St. Bernard Parish “has the horrific distinction of being the only parish or county completely inundated from Katrina.”)

How to follow Nate

  • The National Hurricane Center has a page updating every few hours with the latest watches and warnings for Nate. Check it out.
  • Follow the National Weather Service’s Atlantic Ops account on Twitter. And the NWS’s New Orleans branch too.
  • Follow the Capital Weather Gang’s Twitter account. These folks tend to live-tweet storm updates.