ATLANTA - A Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Warning was issued Friday morning for portions of the Gulf Coast ahead of Tropical Storm Nate. Landfall is expected near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Sunday.
Tropical Storm Nate was over the open waters of the Caribbean Sea on Friday. It will skirt past the Yucatan Peninsula before entering the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to intensify.
11Alive Chief Meteorologist Chris Holcomb says Nate is forecast to become a hurricane once it moves into the Gulf of Mexico. It will move toward the northern Gulf Coast this weekend.
As of 2 pm Friday, Tropical Storm Nate was centered about 125 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds are at 50 miles per hour with higher gusts. It is now moving to the north-northwest at 21 mph. This motion is expected to continue for the next several days.
On its present forecast track, the center of Nate should move across the open waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday, moving near the Yucatan Peninsula early Friday evening, before entering the Gulf of Mexico tonight. Nate is expected to reach hurricane strength after it enters the Gulf of Mexico.
A Hurricane Warning is now in effect from Grand Isle. Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border. A Storm Surge Warning is now in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana eastward to the Alabama/Florida border, including the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, and from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, Louisiana.
A Hurricane Watch has been issued from east of the Alabama/Florida line to the Okaloosa/Walton County line.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from east of the Okaloosa/Walton County line to Indian Pass, Florida.
In addition, the government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the province of Pinar del Rio and a Tropical Storm Watch for the province of the Isle of Youth.
HOW WILL IT IMPACT GEORGIA
Chris says heavy rains are expected in Georgia from the storm, but at this point, it is too early to forecast exact amounts, or any additional effects on the metro Atlanta area.
With the currently projected path, metro Atlanta and much of north Georgia will be in the eastern portion of the cone, which will leave the area vulnerable for possible severe weather, most likely beginning as early as Saturday night. The most likely timeframe for severe weather will be on Sunday, however.
Stay with Chris and the 11Alive Storm Trackers for the latest information as it becomes available.
Stay with 11Alive and 11Alive.com for the latest on this developing tropical weather system.
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