Tropical Depression #16 strengthened to become Tropical Storm Nate. (Image:NOAA) The system, which is dumping rain on Central America, appears to be on track for a United States landfall somewhere between southern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on Sunday. Forecasters believe it could impact the U.S. as a hurricane.
While it is still too early to know if Nate will strengthen into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane watch was in effect for a northeast portion of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Nate’s maximum sustained winds are at 40 MPH, but the rainfall is far more impressive. Up to 30 inches of rain is expected in Nicaragua and other isolated areas. The accumulation is enough to cause “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm will be moving into warm waters which generally fosters strengthening. The track of the system moved decidedly to the west, which makes the likelihood of the impact somewhere between the Florida panhandle and southwest Louisiana.
Residents and those with interest in these areas are urged to keep watch on Tropical Storm Nate. We will continue to update as more information becomes available.