HOLT, Fla., Oct. 6, 2017, 8 a.m.–The National Hurricane Center has shifted the predicted track of Tropical Storm Nate east based on overnight information to include a portion of the western Florida panhandle.
At this time, Pensacola and Milton are included in the predictability cone. The immediate Holt area is not. However, the eastern edge of the cone is just west of the Okaloosa-Santa Rosa county line. A slight move east and the cone shift could include Holt and Crestview in its eastern edge.
A tropical storm watch is in effect from the Mississippi-Alabama border to the Okaloosa-Walton county line.
Nate is predicted to be a category one hurricane with 80 mph winds by the time it is close to the U.S. Gulf coast.
The storm is forecast to reach the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday or Sunday and the threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall is increasing from Louisiana through the western Florida Panhandle, according to the NHC.
The NHC forecast calls for some strengthening through the next 48 hours as the storm makes its way across the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, Nate has moved back over water and is moving toward the north-northwest near 14 mph toward warm waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea and within an environment of light wind shear.
The storm is expected to continue on this general track with a marked increase in forward speed is during the next day or two, according to the NHC.
The center of Nate will move across the northwestern Caribbean Sea today and reach the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula early this evening.
There is a possibility that Nate could be near hurricane intensity when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula later today.
Nate will then move into the southern Gulf of Mexico tonight and approach the northern Gulf coast Saturday evening.
Rain predictions for central Gulf coast states is 3-to-6 inches up to 12 inches.