Another tropical storm, Nate, formed late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning, and he looks to be set on hitting the Gulf Coast as a possible hurricane by Sunday. If anyone in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama and has plans for this Columbus Day weekend, you might need to alter them a bit.

CNN meteorologists said landfall in that region is likely.

It is a good bet then, that one, if not all, of those three states, are going to encounter a minor hurricane. It is not forecast to be a large hurricane, but with the elevated ocean temperatures that climate change has fostered, it could be anyone’s guess. And regardless of the sustained wind speeds, in these instances, it’s flooding that will be a concern.

In Central America, rainfall, flooding, and mudslides are cause for concern

New Orleans, with it’s already weakened drainage system might take this hit harder than the other states. Tropical storms are always unpredictable, so storm trackers are rushing to gather information.Thursday morning Nate had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and it is expected to remain close to that intensity on through Nicaragua and Honduras.

But in that region, winds are not the main concern. With extreme rainfall totals of 15 to 20 inches forecast in Nicaragua and up to 8 inches in Honduras, it is dangerous and life-threatening flooding and mudslides that are concerning for Central America. Below is a short clip of Nate moving over Nicaragua Thursday morning.

Making landfall somewhere in the Gulf Coast Region

After passing over Central America, Nate is expected to head into the warmer waters of the Caribbean according to CNN meteorologists. In such waters, Nate could very easily increase in strength and forward momentum. A few forecast models had Nate as a much larger hurricane and making landfall on the Florida Coast, but those models are now in agreement with those that predict landfall in the Gulf Coast Region according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

All that aside, many factors will influence the size and intensity of Nate over the weekend. How much the hurricane will strengthen once it crosses those warm waters really depends on how intact the eye of the storm remains after making landfall. If the land breaks it up a bit, it will take more time to reform over the ocean and, consequently, will not have as much time to gain intensity.

And of course, if the alternate scenario transpires things will be different. If the center of the storm remains intact, the outcome will be less predictable. Nate will be able to take advantage of the warm waters of the Caribbean and gain intensity. So, everyone on the Gulf Coast, please be ready. America doesn’t need any more disasters made worse by a lackadaisical response to multiple prior warnings.