UPDATE: 10/7 8:30 a.m.
Hurricane Nate is a category 1 storm steaming through the Gulf of Mexico. Currently maximum sustained winds are at 85 mph with movement to the north northwest at 22 mph.
Currently our area remains under a hurricane watch, tropical storm warning and storm surge warning.
We spoke with Jason Beaman, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mobile this morning.
“Hurricane force winds are looking less likely for the panhandle this morning, however the convection to the east of the storm could bring gusts up to hurricane force,” Beaman said.
The most likely time for tropical storm force winds will be this evening, but Beaman cautions that the first rain bands will be coming in by mid-day and those bands could carry tropical storm wind gusts with them along with the threat for tornadoes.
“Right now the coast in your area has the potential for 3-5 feet of storm surge or as high as six feet if the center of the storm tracks east,” Beaman said. “The highest risk is for the barrier islands, but even up in East Bay and Blackwater River, those areas could get some inundation as well.”
The speed of the storm is going to push all the water to the coast.
Currently hurricane force winds extend out 35 miles from the center, however tropical storm force winds extend out 125 miles from the center.
- Life-threatening storm surge flooding is likely along portions
of the northern Gulf Coast, and a storm surge warning is in effect
from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in
Florida. Residents in these areas should heed any evacuation
instructions given by local officials.
- 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
- Nate will bring heavy rainfall of 3 to 6 inches with isolated
totals of 10 inches east of the Mississippi River from the central
Gulf Coast into the Deep South, eastern Tennessee Valley, and
southern Appalachians through Monday, resulting in the potential
for flash flooding in these areas.
- Moisture from Nate interacting with a frontal zone will also
bring 2 to 4 inches with isolated totals of 6 inches across the
Ohio Valley into the central Appalachians Sunday into Monday,
which will also increase the risk for flash flooding across these
Your preparations should be rushed to completion as rain bands are forecast to begin around mid-day today.
UPDATE: 10/6 11:30 p.m.
Tropical Storm Nate has strengthened and has reached hurricane status. Maximum sustained winds are at 75 mph with higher gusts.
Our area remains under a hurricane watch, tropical storm warning and a storm surge warning.
UPDATE: 10/6 5:00 p.m.
Our area remains under a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning has been added. Also, a Storm Surge Warning is now in effect east of the Alabama/Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line.
Currently Tropical Storm Nate has maximum sustained winds at 60 mph and is moving north northwest at 21 mph.
The National Hurricane Center says conditions appear favorable for continued strengthening up to landfall on the northern Gulf Coast, and Nate is expected to make landfall as a hurricane. The new intensity forecast, which is an update of the previous one, lies near the upper edge of the intensity guidance. There is still a possibility of a rapid intensification as Nate crosses the Gulf.
Locally, in addition to rescheduled events, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier will close at 5 p.m. on Saturday unless conditions warrant closing it sooner.
We will have updates as information is updated.
10/6 11:30 a.m.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for our area that spans from the Alabama/Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line.
Currently Tropical Storm Nate is located about 170 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds are at 50 mph and the storm is moving north northwest at 21 mph.
The storm had a general northward movement over the past 12 hours, however, the latest recon and satellite imagery suggests that a north northwestward motion is resuming.
The current track of the storm has shifted eastward, likely due to the movement northward overnight. Landfall is expected on the northern Gulf Coast between 36 – 48 hours.
Ryan Rogers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mobile says the models are more in agreement with the track, certainly more than yesterday.
“The latest track has the center of the storm further east which means land interaction with the Yucatan is less likely,” Rogers said. “That land interaction would have kept the storm from becoming better organized and strengthening.”
Rogers added that this storm will get its act together and is in an area favorable for intensification.
The next update will be at 2 p.m. The next couple of updates will contain more information for our area as the track becomes more certain.
10/5 10:30 p.m.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi /Alabama line.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from the Mississippi /Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton line.
The Tropical Storm Watch includes our area. There is also an increased risk of tornados for our area if the storm landfalls to our west.
Currently Nate is moving northwest at 12 mph but a shift to the north northwest is expected overnight. Maximum sustained winds are at 40 mph but intensification is expected.
Nate is expected to approach the southeastern coast of Louisiana by 8 p.m. Saturday. But Nate’s forecast track remains uncertain.
Make time tomorrow to finish your preparations as any last minute shift to the east will put our area closer to the center of the storm.
10/5 3:30 p.m.
With Tropical Storm Nate heading for the Gulf and a potential hurricane landfall in or near our area, several events have been postponed or cancelled. Here is the latest:
- Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in 29 counties including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties.
- Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base have declared HURCON 4 at the respective bases indicating that destructive winds are possible within 72 hours. Hurlburt Field will be evacuating aircraft to Little Rock, Arkansas tomorrow.
- The Navarre Fishing Rodeo has been postponed until Oct. 21 and 22
- Take a Kid Fishing has been rescheduled for Oct. 21
- Sea Turtle Extravaganza has been rescheduled for Oct. 21
- Pensacola State College has cancelled ComposerFest XIII originally scheduled for Oct. 8
- Santa Rosa County is making limited supplies of sand available at no cost at several locations. Sand bags are available at local home improvement stores for purchase. Bring shovels to fill and load your own bags. Locations for our area are at Leisure Street at Citrus Drive in Holley by the Sea and Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze.
What can you to do prepare?
- Restock your supplies:
- Have five days worth of nonperishable food, medications and at least a gallon of water for each person and pet per day.
- Extra batteries and gas for your generator.
- Secure your outdoor furniture and check your yard for items that could cause damage if blown around in high winds.
- Fill your gas tank.
- Have cash on hand in case electricity is out for an extended period of time.
- Freeze bottles of water to help keep your freezer cold in the even of a power outage.
- Heed red flag warnings at the beach. Even the strongest swimmers should stay out of the water during an approaching storm until it is safe to return.
- Stay informed! The track and intensity of a storm can change quickly.
We will continue to update you as this storm moves into the Gulf.
10/5 9:30 a.m.
As of this morning’s update, the track for Tropical Storm Nate has shifted westward toward the Louisiana – Mississippi line.
“The westward trend began overnight and continues this morning,” Ryan Rogers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Mobile. He reiterated that even though the models are in better agreement for the westward trend, the track and intensity are still very uncertain.
“This system is going to be trucking through the Gulf, moving very quickly,” Rogers said. “By 2 a.m. Sunday it is forecast to be just south of Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana.”
The discussion released by the National Hurricane Center says deep convection associated with the depression has increased over the eastern portion of the circulation overnight. If our area is on the east side of the storm, we could experience coastal tidal flooding along with the tropical storm or hurricane force winds and heavy rains.
Rogers says the next 12 – 24 hours should give forecasters valuable information for a more definitive track and intensity.
10/4 @ 3:15 p.m.
Tropical Depression Sixteen may soon become Tropical Storm Nate, possibly by later tonight, says Jason Beaman, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mobile.
Right now the storm is forecast to enter the Gulf this weekend with the earliest possible landfall Sunday. Currently the storm is located just south of Nicaragua and is poised to move through the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday or early Saturday morning.
“The Florida panhandle should have a hurricane plan in place,” Beaman said. “The current forecast has it turning to the northeast more toward Panama City but any delay in that turn puts the western panhandle more in the center of the cone.”
An upper level trough is forecast to move in over the western U.S. and across which will erode a high pressure system in the east pulling the potential hurricane up and to the northeast. However, the timing of all of that is unknown at this time. The upper level trough is still in the Pacific Ocean. “There are too many factors to know for sure where it is going and how strong it will be,” Beaman said.
In preparation for possible hurricane conditions, Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base have moved to HURCON 5, meaning destructive winds are possible within 96 hours.
According to Beaman, Saturday our area will see an increasing chance of rain from the Gulf well north of the system and winds should not be a factor during the day. The earliest arrival of winds would be Saturday night into Sunday morning.
We will continue to update you as conditions warrant.
Residents of Navarre should be on the alert as a potential hurricane could be in the area by as early as this weekend.
Tropical Depression Sixteen, currently located just south of Nicaragua, could potentially become a hurricane as it makes its way north through the Gulf of Mexico according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
According to NOAA’s most recent update the storm will bring rains to Nicaragua and Honduras Wednesday night and into Thursday. Current maximum sustained winds are 35 miles per hour.
The storm is expected to continue moving north into the Gulf of Mexico through the weekend, and NOAA is advising it will likely strengthen to a hurricane.
Residents of the gulf coast from Louisiana through Florida are advised to prepare for hurricane impacts as it is unclear at this time where the storm will go NOAA reports. The Florida Panhandle remains in the cone of probability, and potential wind arrival is forecast for as early as Saturday morning. Those winds could exceed 80 miles per hour NOAA forecasts.
Check back for continuing updates as this storm develops.