Nate’s track shifts slightly west

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The National Hurricane Center has shifted the cone west, eliminating most of the Florida panhandle for now. (NHC)

HOLT, Fla., Oct. 7, 2017, 9 a.m.–Most of the panhandle west to the Florida-Alabama state line has been moved out of the National Hurricane Center’s predicability cone as of the 7 a.m. update.

However, as the storm moves northward toward the Gulf coast, forecast adjustments could put the area back in the zone.

As the storm gets closer today, tropical-storm-force winds will likely reach Holt and the surrounding area by this afternoon.

For now, hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

Nate continues to move rapidly toward the north-northwest at about 22 mph.

Reports from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph with higher gusts.

Some additional strengthening is possible before Nate makes landfall along the central Gulf coast tonight. Predicted landfall wind speed has been raised to 90 mph.

During last night’s Air Force Reserve reconnaissance mission, no hurricane force winds were reported west of the center due to Nate’s asymmetric shape.

Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area tonight, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin by this afternoon through Sunday.

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Holt and the surrounding area could start feeling tropical-storm-force winds by the afternoon. (NHC)

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