Tropical Storm Nate forms in Caribbean, may threaten Gulf Coast as hurricane


close Janice Dean shares latest details.

Possible hurricane developing in the Gulf of Mexico

Janice Dean shares latest details.

After a brief pause in tropical activity, Tropical Storm Nate formed Thursday in the Caribbean near the coast of Nicaragua and may impact the Gulf Coast by this weekend.

The storm is located about 10 miles south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. ET advisory.


The forecast track of Tropical Storm Nate. (Fox News)

Nate has sustained winds of about 40 mph, moving northwest at 8 mph, the NHC said, adding "strengthening is likely over the northwestern Caribbean Sea tonight and Friday."

"On the forecast track, the center of Nate should move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras today and then over the northwestern Caribbean Sea tonight and Friday," the NHC said.

The government of Mexico has issued a Hurricane Watch along the northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos. Bands of heavy rain and wind may affect CancĂșn and Cozumel by Friday, according to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean.

A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect from Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Castilla, Honduras.

"Interests elsewhere in Honduras, the Bay Islands, western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula should monitor the progress of Nate," the NHC said.


Rainfall amounts of 15 to 20 inches are expected across portions of Nicaragua and Honduras, with isolated maximum amounts of 30 inches and could cause "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides."

The storm's proximity to, or possibly moving over land will keep it disorganized in the short term, but strengthening is more likely into Saturday as it moves northward, eventually into the Gulf of Mexico, according to Dean.

Any possible impact from the storm on the United States is not yet clear, but the NHC's forecast cone shows it may approach the eastern Gulf Coast near the Florida panhandle as a hurricane by Sunday.

"There is quite a bit of uncertainty when it comes to timing, track and intensity, but the southeastern Louisiana coast to the Florida Panhandle should monitor the forecast and any changes over the next few days," Dean said.

Meteorologist Adam Klotz has more Video

NOAA predicts most active hurricane season since 2010

Nate is the 14th named storm of the year, and comes after a month of devastation from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Forecasters said the Atlantic hurricane season would be "above-normal," with 14 to 19 by the peak season.

An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, according to NOAA.


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