After almost a week of quiet in the tropics we are once again turning our attention there as another disturbance threatens the U.S. Tropical Storm Nate formed earlier today and is currently located over Nicaragua. Nate will head in a north-northwesterly direction over the next couple of days, possibly brushing the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday. Thereafter, Nate will emerge in the Gulf of Mexico. Intensity and track forecasts are low confidence at this point but we will likely be facing another land-falling tropical storm or hurricane somewhere along the central or eastern Gulf Coast by late this weekend.

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At this time, those with interests along the Gulf Coast, particularly the central Gulf Coast, should be preparing for a land-falling tropical system by the end of the weekend, likely on Sunday. Strong winds, coastal flooding, and inland flooding will all be threats from Nate. Unlike Hurricane Harvey, Nate will be a quick-mover so the potential to see catastrophic rainfall like what was seen in southeast Texas is low. That being said, this storm will cause minor damage to coastal areas, flooding, and flash flooding inland. After Nate's initial landfall he will quickly move up across the interior Southeast, rapidly weakening, but bringing the possibility of several inches of rain. Remnants of Nate are forecast to reach the Mid-Atlantic by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

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Over the next 2 days expected demand for items like bottled water, generators, batteries, flashlights, and plywood to increase in the central Gulf Coast. Isolated power outages and flooding could cause store closures anywhere from southern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, but flooding could also occur farther inland and up through the Tennessee Valley. Unlike Harvey and Irma, impacts from Nate should not be as lengthy and recovery will be swift.

Cities that may be affected by Nate include:

  • New Orleans, LA

  • Mobile, AL

  • Pensacola, FL

  • Jackson, MS

  • Montgomery, AL

  • Birmingham, AL

  • Huntsville, AL

  • Memphis, TN

  • Nashville, TN