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First Alert Weather: Tropical Storm Nate forms near Nicaragua


MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Nate forms near coast of Nicaragua; forecast to move north toward US Gulf Coast.

Sarasota, FL (WWSB) - The 16th tropical depression of the season has formed off the Coast of Nicaragua.  It's soon to become  Nate and has a destiny for the United States.

Nate is forecast to move through the Western Caribbean, possibly interacting with Central America and the Yucatan over the next 2 days.  There is a real good chance this storm will become a hurricane as it enters the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

The forecast path is still uncertain after day 3 with the center either going toward Louisiana or Florida.  It all has to do with how strong an area of high pressure is near the N. Bahamas by this weekend.

If this high pressure is weak then the trend will be more toward the Panhandle of Florida or possibly further South toward the Big Bend area of Florida.

If this high pressure is stronger than the European model suggests then it will track more toward LA.

One thing we do know that this system will be in the Gulf of Mexico by Saturday morning.  It could make landfall as early as Sunday late afternoon.

It is too early to tell what impact if any will be felt here along the Suncoast.  It at least looks like it will be a wet weekend with plenty of tropical moisture around.  Stay tuned with this one.

On Thursday expect increasing cloudiness along with a good chance for showers and thunderstorms.  Some of them could bring some locally heavy rainfall.  Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.   Rain chances staying high through the weekend.

Bob Harrigan

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