Tropical Storm Nate, formerly known as Tropical Depression 16, has formed near Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua with 40 mph wind, moving northwest at 8 mph. The storm is currently bringing flooding rain and tropical storm force winds to Central America. It will pass over the Yucatan Peninsula late tomorrow into Saturday morning before heading into the Gulf of Mexico.
Once in the Gulf, Nate could strengthen into a hurricane, and a direct impact along the Gulf Coast looks likely. While the storm was previously expected to strike near Florida’s “Big Bend,” many of the models shifted west late Wednesday and early Thursday morning. The official forecast track now takes Nate to the Central Gulf Coast, possibly near New Orleans, before turning northeast and quickly weakening to a tropical storm as it tracks through Mississippi and Alabama.
While a direct pass through the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry does not currently look likely, there may still be impacts in the form of thunderstorms and wind. That could start as early as late Saturday, but would be more likely Sunday into Monday. There is still time for the forecast track to shift west or east, and as always, the final track will determine the severity of impacts we see. Stay with Storm Team 3 as we track the storm, and download the Storm Team 3 weather app for the latest on Tropical Storm Nate.