It's been a busy and destructive 2017 hurricane season in the Atlantic, and just when folks were hoping things would settle down in the tropics even though the season officially runs through November, up pops Tropical Storm Nate in the southern Caribbean this week! Now the Gulf Coast is facing yet ANOTHER land falling tropical system this weekend, but hopefully given the set-up and expected quick movement of Nate, the problems will be minimal compared to the other devastating storms so far this season.
First things first, we've been awfully dry here in Kentuckiana over the last two and a half weeks so we could really use a good soaking rain. Check out the graphic below as we are in the midst of one of our driest stretches in awhile but that should change over the weekend.
Here is the latest on Tropical Storm Nate as of Friday morning. The storm is back out over the water in the western Caribbean Sea moving quickly to the north/northwest to the Yucatan Peninsula (think Cancun and Cozumel). Max winds are around 45 miles per hour with higher gusts and some strengthening is expected Friday but it should remain a tropical storm. With its quickening forward speed, it should clip the Yucatan by late Friday evening before moving out into the open Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.
Nate should continue to strengthen Saturday as it rolls northward quickly toward the Gulf Coast. It is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane prior to making landfall somewhere near the Louisiana/Mississippi border by early Sunday morning. Hopefully the fast forward speed will reduce the opportunity for Nate to get any stronger before making landfall along the Gulf Coast. Once inland, it should rapidly weakening as it quickly slides northeastward toward our region. Most of the model data send the remnants through the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, while the official track from the National Hurricane Center pushes Nate's leftovers a little farther east.
So what about the impact on our weather across Kentuckiana? The combination of a stalled out front coupled with the tropical moisture from Nate should mean an end to the extended dry period across Kentuckiana. The moisture will stream northward well ahead of Nate so by late Saturday night and into Sunday, we should be looking at a solid chance of rain around the area. 1"-3" of rain will be possible across much of Kentuckiana, which would be just what the doctor ordered since we could use the rain. The bottom line is keep the rain gear handy despite a number of outdoor activities and fall festivals going on around the area...especially on Sunday and into Columbus Day!
We'll continue to track the progress of Nate through the weekend, both on-line at whas11.com and on-air on WHAS 11 News.
Meteorologist T.G. Shuck