Nate becomes hurricane, could make landfall as cat. 2

By: Brittany Bedi| WCTV Pinpoint Weather Team
October 7, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- As of the 11AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Nate is a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Nate is located roughly 180 miles south-southeast of the coastal Mississippi-Louisiana border. It continues to move north-northwest through the gulf at 26 mph.

Waters in the Gulf of Mexico remain in the low to mid 80s. The warm water and lack of strong wind shear will allow Nate to strengthen into a category 2 hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast.

Coastal areas between southeastern Louisiana and Alabama are within the forecast cone for Nate. Winds could be near 105 mph at landfall. The timing of landfall is estimated to be overnight from Saturday into Monday. After making landfall, Nate is expected to quickly weaken to a tropical storm by Sunday evening.

Hurricane warnings remain well to the west of the WCTV area, along the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coast.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for coastal Gulf county. Tropical storm warnings extend from coastal and inland Bay counties westward to Escambia county in the Florida Panhandle. Tropical storm force winds of 39 to 74 mph are possible in those areas. For much of the local North Florida and South Georgia area, there is a low chance of tropical storm force winds.

A coastal flood advisory extends from Franklin county, through the Big Bend, to Citrus county.

Storm surge of 1 to 3 feet is possible.

Local impacts from Nate will be limited. While winds of 39+ mph are possible in areas to the west of the WCTV coverage area, local winds will be between 10 and 20 mph. There is a 60% chance of off-and-on rain Saturday afternoon. Most rain will move from the southeast to the northwest. Overall accumulation will likely be between 0.5 to 1.5 inches with isolated higher amounts. The threat of tornadoes is not zero, but very low locally, with the higher threat being closer to Nate. The main threat from Nate will be 1 to 3 feet of storm surge.

A small craft advisory remains in effect until Sunday evening for Gulf waters from Franklin county through Dixie county. Highs winds, choppy conditions, and surf of 8 to 12 feet are possible.

While Nate does not pose a large threat to the local WCTV viewing area, expect breezy conditions through the afternoon and overnight into Sunday as Nate moves onshore and over Northern Alabama.