It's expected to become a hurricane and could impact the U.S. as soon as Sunday

By Chris Morris
October 5, 2017

As cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Irma continues in Florida and other southern states, a new tropical storm has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Nate is currently off the shore of Nicaragua, with sustained winds of 40 mph, but it’s expected to strengthen to a hurricane as it heads toward the U.S. shore. The storm could impact the U.S. as early as Sunday morning.

At this point, the cone of uncertainty puts a wide swath of the Gulf coast at risk—just east of New Orleans, all of Mississippi and Louisiana, and the Florida Panhandle.

Even though it’s not yet a hurricane, Tropical Storm Nate is currently expected to dump heavy rains on Central America. The National Hurricane Center says Nicaragua can expect 10-15 inches of precipitation from Nate. Isolated areas could see as much as 30 inches.

Because the storm is still well off the U.S. coast, forecasters aren’t making any predictions about its impact here yet. At present, Nate is not expected to become a major hurricane, like Harvey, Irma, and Matthew.

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