Hurricane Nate to make unwelcome Gulf Coast visit this weekend

Hurricane Nate to make unwelcome Gulf Coast visit this weekend”

The left side of a storm has weaker winds and less rainfall, along with no storm surge issues.

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings have been issued in three U.S. states as the storm barrels northward.

Nate sped up slightly and is now moving toward the north-northwest at approximately 10 miles per hour. The storm has triggered flood warnings in those areas, along with a hurricane watch in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos. This time, the storm is expected to be a Category 1 storm landing somewhere in the Louisiana area by Sunday. It will move toward the northern Gulf Coast this weekend.

Forecast cone from the National Hurricane Center as of 10 a.m. CT.

Crude oil prices fell in Asia oN Friday, but support could com as the U.S. National Hurricane Center says tropical storm Nate is on its way to becoming a full hurricane as it reaches the Gulf of Mexico with several offshore production sites already shut along with refineries.

"On the forecast track, the center of the depression should move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras later today and then over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday", the NHC said. Strengthening is expected, and the storm may become a hurricane before it reaches the US coast.

Authorities placed the whole country on alert and warned of flooding and landslides. In neighbouring Nicaragua, two people died, and seven people were missing, Vice President Rosario Murillo told state media.

At 1100 PM EDT (0300 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Nate was located close to the coast of eastern Honduras near latitude 15.8 North, longitude 84.7 West. Nate is moving toward the northwest near 12 miles per hour (19 km/h).

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles said Nate has a long way to travel before its path is better known, and that it would likely cross the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico before possibly heading north.

Rain will continue to fall through Friday night in parts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize, forecasters said. Grand Isle, La., on a barrier island south of New Orleans, called for a voluntary evacuation.

One major pump that remained offline was located at the city's largest-capacity pump station in the Lakeview neighborhood; it serves a heavily populated swath along the city's western edge and a large section of neighboring Jefferson Parish.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's New Orleans office said in a news release that as of midday Thursday, six production platforms, out of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf, had been evacuated. "Anyone who's taken this storm lightly is making a serious mistake".

That path takes it through an area populated by offshore oil and natural gas platforms, which pump more than 1.6 million barrels of crude per day (bpd), about 17 percent of USA output, according to government data.

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