Conditions appear favorable for continued strengthening up to landfall on the northern Gulf Coast, and Nate is expected to make landfall there as a hurricane. The new intensity forecast, which is an update of the previous one, lies near the upper edge of the intensity guidance. Given the current developments, there is still a possibility of a period of rapid intensification as Nate crosses the Gulf of Mexico. As alternative scenarios to the actual forecast of steady strengthening, the ECMWF forecasts no additional strengthening as Nate crosses the Gulf of Mexico, and the GFS/UKMET forecast little additional strengthening until the last 12 h before landfall.
1. Nate could be near hurricane intensity when it passes near or over the Yucatan Peninsula during the next several hours bringing direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall. A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch are in effect for a portion of this area, and life-threatening flash flooding is also possible.
2. Life-threatening storm surge flooding is likely along portions of the northern Gulf Coast, and a storm surge warning is now in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in Florida. Residents in these areas should heed any evacuation instructions given by local officials.
3. A hurricane warning is in effect for portions of the northern Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama, and preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in these areas.
4. Nate will bring heavy rainfall of 3 to 6 inches with isolated totals of 10 inches from the central Gulf Coast states into the eastern Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians through this weekend, resulting in the possibility of flash flooding in these areas.
5. Heavy rainfall from Nate will continue to be a threat in portions of Central America, with life-threatening flash flooding and mud slides possible in portions of Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize through tonight.