Tropical Storm Nate forms
The center of Tropical Storm Nate is moving into eastern Honduras. Flooding rains are expected over portions of Central America.
Authorities in Costa Rica have raised that country's death toll blamed on flooding fed by Tropical Storm Nate to seven and say 15 others are missing.
Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Organism updated the toll from an earlier two on Thursday.
President Luis Guillermo Solis said earlier that more than 5,000 residents were being housed in shelters due to flooding.
Tropical Storm Nate, which formed Thursday off the coast of Nicaragua, is forecast to impact the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane.
10 AM UPDATE - A westward shift in track this morning, but Northwest Florida is still in the cone.
*Models are becoming a bit more confident in the westward shift because of a high pressure building in the SE pushing westward. One thing to note: how far west it ends up tracking matters. If in New Orleans we will likely not see much. If it ends up in eastern Mississippi, that is when our concern will grow.
1. If landfall is made to our west, we are on the east side which is the “worst side” meaning possible Storm Surge, strongest winds (if close enough to eye wall), heavy rain & a tornado threat. Again, this is the worst case scenario.
2. If landfall is made in Northwest Florida we will see heavy rain and strong winds.
3. If landfall is made to our east, our impacts decrease. Tropical Storm force winds & some rain will then be our impacts which would be our best case scenario.
We can always see another shift, as we usually do. Right now, land interaction will not allow for much intensification today, but once in the open Gulf, fair game for intensification.
There is still large uncertainty as to where exactly the system will end up, how strong it will become and when it will strike. Once it is better organized and closer to the Gulf of Mexico, there will be a better idea of potential impacts. Watches and warnings may be posted for the WEAR-TV area in the coming days.
A landfall is possible for the WEAR-TV area on Sunday. The forecast path shows the most likely time for the storm to hit will be during the day Sunday but impacts could begin late Saturday.
Dangerous surf will continue along Gulf Coast beaches through the weekend. The Gulf waters are closed to swimming.