November 24, 2020

Tropical Storm or Hurricane Nate could threaten Gulf Coast this weekend

Get ready Gulf Coast, including Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. Tropical Storm or Hurricane Nate could be heading your way by this weekend.

Right now, the National Hurricane Center is calling what would become Nate Invest 90L, a disturbance located in the Southwestern Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua that is expected to quickly become a tropical depression and quickly move north, threatening the Northern Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts a 90 percent chance of tropical development in the next 48 hours.

Mississippi is in the line of potential strike zone, and so are the coastal states of Alabama, Florida (panhandle), Louisiana and Texas. A forecast from the NHC shows that the Florida panhandle region has a higher tendency this moment to have storm activity.

Among the reasons Nate could threaten as a strong storm is the fact that water in the Western Caribbean Sea is in the mid-to-upper 80s, some 2 to 5 degrees warmer than average. Warm water is conducive to storm development and is one of the reasons we have seen such an active and destructive 2017 hurricane season.

“Environmental conditions over the western Caribbean Sea and southern Gulf of Mexico are already favorable for development,” the Weather Channel reported. “Wind shear is currently low over Invest 90L, but shear is expected to climb somewhat in the coming days as the system lifts northward.”

The National Hurricane Center said the system is strengthening already.

“Showers and thunderstorms associated with an area of low pressure located over the southwestern Caribbean Sea have become better organized since yesterday.  This system is expected to become a tropical depression later today while it moves northwestward toward the coast of Nicaragua.”