HOLT, Fla., Oct. 5, 2017, 7 a.m.–Tropical Depression 16 has become Tropical Storm Nate near the coast of Nicaragua.
The National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm at its 8 a.m. EDT public advisory.
According to the NHC, Nate’s forecast strength remains uncertain due to expected land interaction today and possibly again when the system passes near the Yucatan peninsula.
That said, the NHC expects little change in strength today as the center of Nate moves across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras. Strengthening is likely over the northwestern Caribbean Sea tonight and Friday.
Once Nate moves over the Gulf of Mexico, the storm is forecast to strengthen and could affect portions of the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane this weekend, with direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall.
Nate is moving northwest near 8 mph and is expected to continue in this direction this morning. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts.
The NHC has shifted the storm’s predicted path to the west after hurricane modeling tightened up during the overnight hours.
A north-northwestward motion at a faster forward speed is forecast to begin later today and continue through Friday night.
The center of Nate should move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras today and then over the northwestern Caribbean Sea tonight and Friday.
The center is expected to approach the coast of the Yucatan peninsula late Friday, possibly near hurricane intensity.
It is still too early to specify Nate’s timing, location or magnitude. Panhandle residents should continue to monitor the storm.