NHC Warns ‘Hurricane Nate’ To Impact Gulf Coast

burricane nate new orleans

Tropical Storm Nate is churning up the waters of the Carribean seas this morning, and that’s a bad thing for residents on the Gulf Coast of the United States. The tropical storm is almost sure to become Hurricane Nate over the coming days and almost all models show it intercepting with areas ranging from New Orleans to the panhandle of Florida.

“Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system and heed any advice given by local officials,” the National Hurricane Center warned on Wednesday.

Here’s what we know about a potential Hurricane Nate.

A potential Hurricane Nate could impact the Gulf Coast by Sunday night / NOAA

The tropical storm will encounter warmer, more hospital hurricane fueling waters which should propel its status from Tropical Storm Nate, to Hurricane Nate, with relative ease. But details for when that will happen aren’t in agreement. However, the “when” and “where” Nate experiences such growth is not overly relevant considering that it is almost certain to become a more robust, dangerous system that will impact a large portion of the Gulf Coast.

As it stands, Honduras and Nicaragua are getting pounded with Nate’s rains. Nearly 20 inches of rain is expected in these regions, which is sure to prompt both flooding and mudslides. Tropical Storm Nate more impending target is Cancun, Mexico. Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is under a Hurricane Watch.

Tropical Storm Nate is moving at 8 MPH and has maintained winds at 40 MPH. Clearly, the wind speed is expected to rise dramatically over the next day or two as it enters the warmer gulf waters. By no later than Sunday, Nate should be breaching Hurricane status with 75 mph. Whether or not Hurricane Nate surpasses the modest category 1 status isn’t going to be super relevant for the United States. Nate’s current speed of 8 MPH would cause major flooding as heavy rains would remain stagnate over impacted areas. Nate’s flooding potential could be enormous for any area that it encounters.

The latest recon missions showed Nate’s pressure to be at about 1006, so it hasn’t dumped into the sub-1000 range just yet, but I’d expect it will soon as the low center continues to strengthen. That said, Nate is a tight system and it is extremely symmetrical, which are both indicators of development even beyond the lower pressure metrics taken from the storm’s “center.” What all this means is that convection is beginning to build, this should offer expedited growth.

The exact path and precise landfall spots for Hurricane Nate remain unknown, however, anywhere from New Orleans to the Florida panhandle should be on high alert. Additional impacts might be beach erosion on the Florida west coast and the potential for Tropical Storm conditions in landlocked portions of the southeast, such as northern Alabama, northern Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and even North Carolina. Georgia was reasonably affected by the recent Hurricane Irma event.

Even further out, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky might experience tropical depression conditions as early as next Tuesday as Hurricane Nate fizzles out while it encounters the United States mainland.

You can see the National Hurricane Centers projected path below. You will notice the cone of concern is rather tight, which is typically an indicator of hurricane path confidence on their part.

burricane nate new orleans

A potential Hurricane Nate’s growth negotiation is dependant on how much land interaction it has with the Yucatan Peninsula. But even that’s a bit frugal in terms of impact. That portion of land is a point that allows way too many options for the low-pressure center to continue to engage with warm and impending gulf waters. The original Euro model had Nate heavily encountering land prior to the peninsula, but that’s an option that’s offering a much lower level of confidence this morning as Nate remains out in open waters, just offshore.

There is a bit low trough pushing down into the gulf right now. This system is moving west through the Gulf of Mexico. What does this mean? Well, as it stands currently, wind shear is occurring in the high atmosphere above the Gulf. If this shear were to remain, it could potentially offer to either break up Nate, or downgrade it severely. However, the low trough is going to push all that shear out of the equation and into Mexico just prior this tropical storm interacting with the region, giving way to the formation of Hurricane Nate. Allow me to show you what I mean below.

Wind shear will not impede Hurricane Nate’s growth potential

The low trough will also push out any dry air feed potential. Hurricane Nate will thrive in a moist environment.

Everything happening right now is incredibly favorable for future development, which is why all models are confident that Hurricane Nate becomes a new reality for Gulf states.

It is never a bad idea to read our Hurricane Prepper guide even if your coastline is not in Hurricane Nate’s path or cone of concern. Hurricanes are easily neutralized with prepping due to the fact that science offers us long range forecasting. Right now, we have a good idea where a Hurricane Nate would make landfall. This also serves to remind us that hurricane season is not over.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

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