This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been very busy and very destructive to the islands and mainland coasts that have been in their collective paths. It has not been very long since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked some havoc along the Gulf Coast so close to each other, and then there was the overpowering Hurricane Maria that tore up Puerto Rico and left it a federal disaster area. But there are still a few months left and plenty of letters in the alphabet to boot. The National Hurricane Center is tracking the sixteenth tropical depression to develop this season, and signs are looking likely that it will become a new storm, and carry the name “Nate.”

Birth of another hurricane

On Wednesday, October 4, the National Hurricane Center gave a report drawing attention to a new tropical depression forming out in the lower Caribbean.

Their forecast has it moving north into the Gulf of Mexico as the week draws to a close and will become strong enough to be a named storm. It will be the 14th for this year’s Atlantic season, designated Nate. Come the weekend itself, the NHR is predicting that the depression will have grown and strengthened into a full-fledged hurricane.

As if it could not get any worse, the new hurricane is being forecast to make landfall on the US Gulf Coast on Sunday, October 8. The point of entry ranges from somewhere between Louisiana and western Florida. The NHC is expecting direct impacts by Nate with wind, heavy rainfall and storm surges, though it is still too early to gauge their magnitude and the time when these will strike.

Current whereabouts

According to the National Hurricane Center’s tracking data, the tropical depression that will surely become tropical storm Nate (and perhaps hurricane) was about 180 miles SSE of the Nicaragua-Honduras border, as of 5 PM ET. The moment a depression reaches a wind speed of 39 mph it will be assigned a name.

TD16’s current speed of 35 mph means it only needs 4 mph. more to be officially called Nate. Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski of AccuWeather notes that Nate’s development into a hurricane will be spurred when it moves north to the east-southeast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula with its warm waters.

At present, the NHC is issuing tropical storm warnings for Nate along the Honduran and Nicaraguan coasts.

Rain is also forecast to fall in heavy volume in parts of Panama and Costa Rica. The Gulf Coast, where Hurricane Nate will make landfall, could be looking at high winds, coastal flooding and beach erosion, with New Orleans (LA), Mobile (AL), and Florida at risk of being severely impacted.