Nate strengthens, heading for Gulf Coast Sat. night

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By 8 p.m. Eastern time, Nate had strengthened to 65 mph as it moved north-northwest at 22 mph around 90 miles northeast of Cozumel, Mexico. That was nearly 9% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf.

WXII 12 Meteorologist Michelle Kennedy said Nate's track and intensity at landfall will help determine whether or not the Triad may see an increase in rainfall totals and wind concerns.

Storm surge warnings are in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida as well as the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The coastal flooding isn't related to Nate. He said the bulk of the rainfall will occur in the New Orleans area, along with Mobile, Ala., and possibly the Florida panhandle.

Aside from wind gusts, Tropical Storm Nate isn't expected to affect Southwest Louisiana much over the weekend, a National Weather Service official said Thursday.

Thousands have been forced to sleep in shelters and some 400,000 people in Costa Rica were reported to be without running water. Edwards added that the storm's speed was "almost unheard of for a storm of this type". The main impacts for Central Alabama will be tomorrow when Tropical Storm force winds will be possible.

The latest track has Nate pushing more to the west of us with most of our viewing outside of the cone. The storm at 10 a.m. lay about 180 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. The system is likely to become a hurricane in the next three days and could hit the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday morning, forecasters say.

In the Triad, it will get breezy Sunday night through Monday.

"After landfall, weakening is anticipated and Nate is forecast to dissipate in 96 hours or sooner", said the National Hurricane Center.

Bill Smith spent early Saturday morning trying to restock the New Orleans Food Co-op, where ...

What has been Tropical Storm Nate was upgraded to a category one hurricane just before midnight Friday into Saturday, and is moving quickly to the north-northwest over the southern Gulf of Mexico.