Tropical Storm Nate moving through Honduras

A State of Emergency has been declared for the Panhandle as Tropical Storm Nate, which is expected to strengthen into a hurricane, makes its way across the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to stay west of the Tampa Bay area.

Update at 11 p.m. Thursday: Tropical Storm Nate is about to move offshore the eastern coast of Honduras. It still carries 40 mph winds and is traveling northwest at 12 mph. 

Hurricane and storm sure watches have been issued for a portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast.

A Storm Surge Watch has been issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, eastward to the Alabama/Florida border, including the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, eastward to the Mississippi/Alabama border, including metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from the Mississippi/Alabama border eastward to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida.  A Tropical Storm Watch has also been issued west of Morgan City to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.

Update at 5 p.m. Thursday: Tropical Storm Nate is moving across eastern Honduras with 40 mph winds. The storm is traveling northwest at 10 mph.

Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches remain unchanged from the 2 p.m. update.

The storm is expected to strengthen as it moves back into the Gulf of Mexico and develop into a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday morning.

Nate is still expected to miss Tampa Bay and make landfall anywhere between eastern Louisiana and the Panhandle by Sunday morning, but our region is expected to experience rainfall from the storm.

Update at 11 a.m. Thursday:  Tropical Storm Nate is moving across northeastern Nicaragua.

The storm is about 30 miles northwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and about 65 miles south of Puerto Lempira, Honduras.

The tropical storm is moving northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua, to Punta Castilla, Honduras; and Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.

On the forecast track, the center of Nate should move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras Thursday and then over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday.

The center of Tropical Storm Nate is expected to approach the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday.

The minimum central pressure is 999 mb.

Update at 8 a.m. Thursday: Tropical Depression 16 has strengthened to Tropical Storm Nate.

The storm is about 10 miles south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as of the 8 a.m. Thursday update from the National Hurricane Center.

The tropical storm is moving northwest at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Castilla, Honduras.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.

The minimum central pressure is 999 mb.

Original Story at 5 a.m. Thursday: Tropical Depression 16 has formed in the southwestern Caribbean and is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm is moving northwest at 7 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Tropical Depression 16 is about 50 miles south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as of the 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

The depression could strengthen to a tropical storm before it moves inland over northeastern Nicaragua on Thursday.

If Tropical Depression 16 becomes a tropical storm as expected, it would be named Tropical Storm Nate.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Castilla, Honduras.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.

Tracking the tropics: Tropical Depression 16

There remains some degree of uncertainty in where it tracks, but the general area of concern will be between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. The storm will likely be a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane as it approaches the coast Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Everyone along the Central Gulf Coast should keep a close eye on the latest forecast as this storms develops over the next couple of days. Heavy rain, storm surge and strong winds will all be threats associated with this system.

The minimum central pressure is 1004 mb.

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