Now a category 1, Hurricane Nate is this season’s ninth hurricane. The storm is moving very quickly through the Gulf of Mexico towards Mississippi and Alabama with 80 mph winds.
Forecasters say the storm will stay away from the Florida Peninsula but is likely to strengthen some before making landfall late Saturday evening somewhere around Mississippi or Alabama. The worst of Nate will be just east of its center.
A hurricane warning is in effect for New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain, La., Grand Isle, La., and the Alabama-Florida border.
While the storm won’t directly hit any part of Florida, the sunshine state will feel some of its effects.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) October 7, 2017
Central Florida won’t feel any impact from Nate except for high tides Saturday night from Citrus County northward. High tide may run one to two feet above the normal tide so low lying areas near the coast might experience minor issues.
Hurricane Nate will not affect South Florida.
The Panhandle won’t take a direct hit but will feel Nate. A hurricane watch is already in effect for the Alabama-Florida border as well as a storm surge watch and tropical storm watch. The storm is expected to dump three to six inches of rain and in some areas ten inches.
Strong winds is another threat for the area. Forecasters say high winds will likely knock down power lines and trees leaving about one million people without power.
“A hurricane warning is in effect for portions of the northern Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama, and preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in these areas,” the hurricane center said to CNN. “Life-threatening storm surge flooding is likely along portions of the northern Gulf Coast.”