TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tropical Storm Nate appears to be headed for the central Gulf Coast, meaning a storm weekend from Louisiana over to the Florida Panhandle.
Friday morning, Tropical Storm Nate was located north of Honduras with sustained winds of 46 mph. The system has been battling some wind shear as well as land interaction with Central America, but now that it’s back over water in the western Caribbean, further organization is strengthening is likely.
Heavy rains have fallen across parts of Nicaragua and Honduras. Flash flooding and mud slides remain a possibility in these areas over the next day or so.
Up next is the Yucatan Peninsula. Nate is forecast to be near hurricane intensity when it brushes the Yucatan late Friday, bringing direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall. A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch are in effect for a portion of this
Over the last 24 hours, models have come into much better agreement regarding Nate’s track into the U.S. this weekend. The 12Z Euro run Thursday actually fell more into line with the GFS, which all along has indicated a weaker storm tracking further west into Louisiana.
While there are still some questions in regard to intensity, the National Hurricane Center is still expecting Nate to become a hurricane in the Gulf before making landfall along the central Gulf Coast late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Those along the Louisiana coast, eastward into the Florida Panhandle, should monitor the progress of Nate closely as we head into the weekend.
CENTRAL FLORIDA IMPACTS
Other than churned up seas along Florida’s west coast and breezy south-southeast winds, Nate will have no direct impacts across the Florida Peninsula. However, scattered showers and storms are in the forecast through the weekend.