The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is activating the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as Tropical Storm Nate moves toward the central gulf coast.
The storm will be near hurricane intensity when it approaches Mexico'sYucatan Peninsula late on Friday, where up to 8 inches (20 cm) of rain were possible, the NHC said. Nate will then accelerate northward over the Gulf of Mexico with a landfall - possibly as a hurricane - late Saturday night/Sunday morning anywhere from New Orleans to Mobile. A turn toward the north-northwest at a faster forward speed is expected for late Thursday 5 October, with that motion continuing through the night of Friday 6 October.
Tropical storm force winds can be felt as early as Saturday, Ivey said.
Including Nate, there have been 13 tropical storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes so far this season.
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It is likely that a Tropical Storm Watch will be issued in Belize.
Forecasters said Nate is expected to be a compact, fast-moving storm, bringing direct impacts from high winds and heavy rain across the state. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Thursday.
At least six people have died in the storm there, while another 11 were killed when it moved north and reached Nicaragua. It could hit the U.S. Gulf coast near New Orleans over the weekend at hurricane strength. And Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solis blamed two deaths in that country on Nate.
It is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico early Saturday morning and make landfall in the USA on Sunday.
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The system may be a hurricane by the time it approaches the northern Gulf region, and is forecast to reach 80 miles per hour peak winds before possible landfall.
Edwards said that he and other state officials are preparing for the storm and will speak Friday afternoon in an update on the storm. That would spare areas hardest-hit by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
"Nate is projected to move northward and become a hurricane despite brushing land in Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula", according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.
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