Storm watches issued for Gulf Coast ahead of Nate - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Storm watches issued for Gulf Coast ahead of Nate

Nate is expected to start impacting the Gulf Coast late Saturday and Sunday.  (Source: NHC) Nate is expected to start impacting the Gulf Coast late Saturday and Sunday. (Source: NHC)
The graphic shows topical storm-force wind probabilities, according to the National Hurricane Center. (Source: NHC) The graphic shows topical storm-force wind probabilities, according to the National Hurricane Center. (Source: NHC)
NASA spotted Tropical Depression 16 in the southwestern Caribbean on Wednesday, which would become Tropical Storm Nate less than 24 hours later. (Source: NASA/CNN) NASA spotted Tropical Depression 16 in the southwestern Caribbean on Wednesday, which would become Tropical Storm Nate less than 24 hours later. (Source: NASA/CNN)

(RNN) - Storm watches have been issued for the Gulf Coast as deadly Tropical Storm Nate moves north toward the Gulf of Mexico.

It is expected to impact the Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane.

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

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

Nate becomes the 16th named storm of the hurricane season. According to the National Hurricane Center's 2 a.m. ET advisory, it was located about 320 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, and was moving north-northwest at 12 mph.

Nate has been blamed for 22 deaths in Central America, the Associated Press said on Thursday.  

Nate's center moved over the gulf of Honduras and is heading for the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

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

It is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico early Saturday morning and make landfall in the U.S. on Sunday. Models predict it will come ashore as far west as the central Louisiana coast, and as far east as the western tip of the Florida Panhandle. 

The NHC stated the storm is expected to have little change until it strengthens in the northwest Caribbean Friday. Heavy rainfall could cause flash floods and muslides in areas of Central America, and tropical storm warnings were issued for parts of Nicaragua and Honduras.

Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, Nicaragua and Honduras were placed in a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch. 

The 2017 hurricane season is one of the worst on record, according to Business Insider.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have had the most significant impact on populated areas, leaving more than 170 people dead.

These storms did significant damage to areas of the United States, especially in Houston and Florida.

Several islands in the Caribbean were completely devastated, including Puerto Rico, Barbados and the Virgin Islands.

The 2017 hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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