Tropical Storm Nate is the latest powerful storm system to show up in the Atlantic in the midst of a devastating hurricane season. This is the current forecasted path for Nate, which is expected to transform into a hurricane and make landfall on the Gulf Coast by the end of the weekend.
As of Thursday morning, Tropical Storm Nate, originally referred to as Tropical Depression 16, was still off the coast of Nicaragua. Spaghetti models, which map out various forecast tracks, predict Tropical Storm Nate will start moving northwest off the coasts of Honduras, Belize and Mexico.
Meteorologists currently tracking the storm say its path will turn toward Louisiana — with the potential for Nate to directly hit New Orleans on Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Service and spaghetti model predictions. Tropical Storm Nate is expected to upgrade to Hurricane Nate before it hits Louisiana, which could be cataclysmic for the area that is still recovering from extensive destruction from Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, Katrina slammed into New Orleans, leaving more than 1,800 people dead and causing more than $100 billion in damages.
It is still unclear how powerful Nate could get and what the storm’s exact path will be, according to the NHC. Tropical Storm Nate could potentially hit Texas, according to current spaghetti models, just weeks after Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Tropical Storm Nate is expected to move up the East Coast early next week, according to current NHC predictions.
The National Hurricane Center added that residents of Louisiana along the Gulf Coast and the Florida panhandle should continue monitoring the storm’s progress and path.