Tropical Storm Nate is expected to transform into a hurricane before it’s projected to make landfall in New Orleans late Saturday or early Sunday morning. Most recently, Nate’s maximum sustained winds were recorded at 50 mph. Nate will need to pick up speed to at least 74 mph before it’s eligible to be labeled a hurricane.
Update: (10/7/17): Nate transformed into a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds as high as 90 mph.
Nate was originally called “Tropical Depression 16.” Nicaragua’s Vice President said that at least 15 people died in that nation because of Tropical Storm Nate. Reportedly a total of 17 people have died in Central America as a direct result of the storm.
Both the Florida and Louisiana governors have declared a state of emergency. On Thursday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 29 counties as Nate draws closer. Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared “a state of emergency” throughout the entire state of Louisiana.
Where is Nate heading next?
Tropical Storm Nate Spaghetti Models: Must-See Paths Updated
Forecasters are predicting that Nate will grow into a hurricane and hit the Gulf Coast this weekend. This would be the third hurricane to hit the United States in six weeks, following Harvey and Irma.
The spaghetti maps project when and where the storm is predicted to hit.
“Tropical Storm Nate is headed north toward our state and Florida must be prepared,” said Scott in the release. “I have declared a state of emergency for 29 counties in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and ensure resources are dispersed to local communities. By declaring an emergency in these counties, we can also ensure that there is no hindrance in the transportation of supplies and assets.”
A voluntary evacuation notice has been issued by officials in Grande Isle, a barrier island south of New Orleans.
“We do anticipate a direct hit in Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said in a statement obtained by the AP. “The bottom line for people is: You need to be where you want to be and in the posture you want to be by dark on Saturday.”