It’s downright cringeworthy – Tropical depression #16 has forecasters predicting it will turn into Hurricane Nate and likely make Florida landfall by the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami has reported that the newly-formed depression is spinning in the Caribbean Sea and forecast cones showing it moving north into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthening into a hurricane within the next few days.
Per the NHC’s advisory, Tropical Depression #16 is located about 25 miles SSW of San Andres Island, with maximum sustained winds of 35 MPH with higher gusts, moving NW at 7 MPH.
The system currently carries with it rainfall amounts of 15 to 20 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 30 inches possible.
Systems become named storms once the sustained winds reach 39 mph. The system is to be called Nate.
As we reported earlier today, the waters surrounding the system are warm and conducive to factors used in helping intensify storm systems. “We could quickly have a powerful hurricane on our hands,” AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said, if the storm moves north, or veers to the east or southeast of the Yucatan Peninsula, where waters are the warmest.
The highest risk for impact are areas in the gulf coast. Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana could be met with hurricane and tropical storm force winds along with massive rain accumulation, depending upon the future track of the system. A strike along the west coast of Florida, near where Hurricane Irma made landfall last month is possible.
Residents are urged to stay informed of this quickly-forming system and take precautions early. South Florida News 11 will continue coverage of Tropical Depression #16/ Hurricane Nate as more information becomes available.
Hurricane Nate would be the 14th named tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin so far in the 2017 hurricane season. Eight storms have become hurricanes, five of those became “major” hurricanes, with winds of Category 3 strength or more.