HURRICANE Nate is the fourteenth of its kind to grace the Atlantic season this year.
After hitting central America near the coast of Nicaragua it is now headed straight for the southern state of Louisiana. Here’s what we know so far.
Where is Hurricane Nate now?
Hurricane Nate roared toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Friday after drenching Central America in rain that was blamed for at least 22 deaths.
In Nicaragua, Nate’s arrival followed two weeks of near-constant rain that had left the ground saturated and rivers swollen. Authorities placed the whole country on alert and warned of flooding and landslides.
The storm killed at least seven people across Costa Rica.
The damage it caused has prompted Costa Rican officials to postpone a World Cup qualifying soccer match between that country and Honduras, which had been scheduled for Friday night.
On Saturday (October 7) Nate was speeding towards a likely overnight landing on the US mainland – close to New Orleans, the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Will Nate hit the United States?
Officials predict the storm will hit the US as early as Sunday (October 8) morning.
Within the storm’s forecast, the ‘cone of uncertainty’ shows Nate could hit anywhere from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida’s Panhandle.
How bad could Hurricane Nate be?
Hurricane Nate is predicted to have a wide reach and will bring with it strong winds which are expected to badly affect population centres from Louisiana and Florida.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported early Saturday: “The Category 1 hurricane was moving north-northwest at 22 mph, and was still expected to make landfall Saturday night.
“It was about 245 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River at 7 a.m. The National Hurricane Center‘s forecasted path for the storm continued to take its centre somewhere between New Orleans and the Gulf Shores.”
Louisiana’s governor John Bel Edwards has warned his residents to take Nate seriously.
On Friday he said: “No one should take this storm lightly. It has already claimed the lives of at least 20 people.
“We do want people to be very, very cautious and to not take this storm for granted.”
Nate was upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane after previously being classed as a tropical storm.