Federal disaster aid headed to Florida, Alabama following Nate

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By: Associated Press
October 8, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Sunday the federal government has issued an emergency declaration for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the Panhandle following Hurricane Nate. A similar declaration was issued for the state of Alabama.

Scott said that will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide any needed disaster assistance in the two counties, although there are no reports of major damage or deaths in the area.

As of midday about 6,800 electric customers were without power in Florida, the governor said.

Nate was a Category 1 hurricane when it came ashore outside Biloxi, Mississippi, early Sunday, its second landfall after initially hitting southeastern Louisiana on Saturday evening. The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression by midday Sunday.

By Brittany Bedi | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 8, 2017 - 12:00 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Nate has weakened into a tropical depression. The 11 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center shows Nate's winds down to 35 mph. Some occasional gusts could reach 39 mph, but that would be in Alabama, near Nate's center. Nate is moving north-northeast at 24 mph.

Satellite imagery over the past 12 hours shows rapid deterioration as Nate made its second landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi. All tropical storm watches and warnings have been canceled.

As Nate races north-northeast, local winds will still come from the south. The southerly flow will keep plenty of moisture over the Big Bend and into South Georgia. The strongest bands associated with Nate remain well to the northwest of the local WCTV area. Some off-and-on showers are expected through North Florida and South Georgia. Some periods of moderate to heavy rain are possible.

There is only a marginal risk of severe weather. Some isolated thunderstorms are possible. As of noon, local winds range from 5 to 15 mph in most spots. One weather station is Panama City is showing gusts near 30 mph. Gusts of 22 mph were reported in Apalachicola as well.

Overall, expect off-and-on showers through the remainder of the afternoon. Cloudy and muggy conditions follow overnight into Monday morning.

By: Associated Press
October 8, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Nate has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves inland over Mississippi and Alabama.

The storm's maximum sustained winds decreased Sunday morning to near 70 mph (110 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to continue quickly weakening.

Earlier Sunday, Nate came ashore outside Biloxi, Mississippi, as a hurricane, the first the make a direct hit on the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Nate has brought stinging rain to the Gulf Coast and its powerful winds have pushed water onto roads. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

A storm surge from Hurricane Nate pushed over the beachfront highway of U.S. 90 in Biloxi, flooding the parking structure of the Golden Nugget casino.

Water kept going several blocks deep into the area.

Pascagoula also reported that storm surge flooded downtown streets in that coastal city.

Thousands were without power in southern Mississippi.

By Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 7, 2017 - 11:30 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Hurricane Nate was close to making its second landfall Saturday night as the eyewall of the storm moved onshore.

The 11 pm advisory Saturday had the center of the storm just 35 miles south-southwest of Biloxi, Miss., moving due north at 20 mph.

Maximum sustained winds were at 85 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 984 millibars. Nate will begin to weaken after landfall as it will lose the warm waters as the source of fuel. Hurricane-force winds extend out to 35 miles from the center according to the latest advisory, with tropical-storm-force winds extending out 125 miles.

Nothing has changed since our last updates in regard to our local impacts. Showers and few storms will be likely as the bands move through early Sunday morning through the day Sunday.

The severe/tornado threat will be the greatest closer to the center of Nate Saturday night. Shear parameters based on the Tallahassee weather balloon launch and model data Saturday evening showed mediocre values (the unidirectional flow from the surface to the lowest 3 kilometers is a factor). But values are more than enough closer to the eastern side of Nate. There may be a very slim risk for a tornado Sunday based some model guidance, but it's not clear.

There's still a chance to see some coastal flooding (1-3 feet) along the Big Bend, but winds are expected to remain below tropical-storm-force. But a Small Craft Advisory remains in effect.

Rainfall between 1 to 2 inches is still possible by the end of Monday.

By Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 7, 2017 - 8:30 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Hurricane Nate made its first landfall on the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The maximum sustained winds have decreased to 85 mph as the storm was moving north (350 degrees) at 20 mph. But some of the satellite imagery and hurricane hunter reconnaissance hinted the storm was taking more of a right-of-north path.

The minimum central pressure was at 982 millibars.

A second landfall will take place tonight in Mississippi or Alabama.

The impacts to the Big Bend and South Georiga will continue to be scattered showers from rain bands starting Saturday night into Sunday. There is a fairly low chance of tornadoes in our viewing area, but the Storm Prediction Center issued a tornado watch well to our west.

Coastal flooding of 1 to 3 feet is still possible along the Big Bend coast. Gusts to 30 knots can be expected in our offshore waters.

Winds are expected to stay below tropical-storm-force in our viewing area.

We'll continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Nate. The next full advisory from the NHC will be at 11 pm ET.

By Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 7, 2017 - 5:30 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Nate's maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly, but it still remains a hurricane based on the 5 pm advisory Saturday.

Hurricane Nate was 140 miles south of Biloxi, Miss according to the latest advisory as it moves a tad more north (345 degrees) at 23 mph. The central pressure is slightly lower at 981 millibars.

The storm was sending "mixed signals" according to the National Hurricane Center's latest discussion. There were signs of an eye trying to form, but the temperatures of the cloud tops were warming and some vertical shear was beginning to impact the storm.

Some intensification is still possible, but the odds for that continue to decrease as the storm gets closer to land. Landfall is still expected Saturday night.

Impacts to the Big Bend and South Florida haven't changed much since the last update, but a very slim chance of one or two rain bands producing a tornado can't be completely ruled out. Low-level shear is mediocre at best across our viewing area Saturday afternoon into evening, based on some model outputs. The Pinpoint Weather Team will be monitoring the radar Saturday evening.

A tornado warning was issued at 5:24 pm for the Panama City Beach area until 6 pm ET.

The next advisory from the NHC will be issued at 8 pm ET.

By Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 7, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Nate, which became a hurricane late Friday night, aimed for the Mississippi and Alabama coastline Saturday afternoon.

The storm was 195 miles south of Biloxi, Miss. according to the 2 pm Saturday advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds were at 95 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 982 millibars.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles from the center of circulation, while tropical-storm-force winds extended outward 125 miles. With the projected landfall, this would keep tropical-storm-force winds outside of our viewing area of inland Big Bend and South Georgia. Some beaches and coastal areas could see higher winds than inland with gusts up to 35 knots.

There is a chance that Nate could gather a tad more strength, but that window is narrowing as it gets closer to shore. The hurricane was moving north-northwestward (340 degrees) at a quick pace of 25 mph. Landfall is expected Saturday night.

Squalls were moving onshore from Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle. One cell spawned a waterspout just offshore of Gulf Shores, Ala.

There is a risk for tornadoes associated with Nate, but the threat will be the greatest from Liberty, Franklin, and Jackson counties westward.

For the Big Bend and South Georgia, the greatest impact from the hurricane will be rain from the outer bands from Nate. In case you haven't been outside since Friday, the moisture has increased greatly thanks to that southerly flow around the Hurricane. This flow will be another ingredient for likely rain chances for the rest of the weekend into Monday. Rain totals of 1 to 2 inches with locally higher amounts are possible in our area through Monday night. The highest rain totals will be to our west closer to Nate.

As mentioned previously, coastal hazards will exist. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect for our offshore coastal waters until Sunday night. Winds of 25 knots with gusts to 30 are in the forecast. There is also a chance to see some coastal flooding along the Big Bend coast of 1 to 3 feet.

We'll continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Nate.