Tropical Storm Nate, which has been forming across the southern Caribbean, could strengthen into a low-grade hurricane and is on track to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, and possibly Florida, by this weekend.
The storm, which currently has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, is expected to move through northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras on Thursday, according to a Oct. 5 public advisory by the National Hurricane Center. It might reach sustained Category 1 winds of 85 mph in three days as it approaches the Gulf Coast on Saturday.
“Strengthening is likely over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday,” the NHC wrote. But forecasters believe it is too early to say where the storm will effect the Gulf Coast. According to the Miami Herald, there is still a possibility that the storm could weaken as it moves through the Mexican state of Yucatan.
The news follows back-to-back disasters wrought by hurricanes flattening islands in the Caribbean and parts of the U.S. mainland this year. The NHC deemed Sept. 2017 the most active month on record for tropical systems in the Atlantic Basin.