Tropical Storm Nate drenched Central America with heavy rain Thursday, killing 22 people as it tracks toward a likely U.S. landfall this weekend as a hurricane.
Nate is forecast to reach the northern Gulf Coast at hurricane strength this weekend before making landfall early Sunday somewhere between southeast Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, bringing the threat of wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall.
The timing comes as many East Tennessee K-12 students will be on fall break. Families with plans to head to the Gulf Coast this weekend should be aware of this storm and keep track of the latest updates as it strengthens.
After making landfall, the storm is projected to continue northeast as far as Maine as it gradually weakens and breaks apart. It's projected to pass through East Tennessee after it weakens into a tropical depression by Monday and Tuesday. We should see rain from this storm by Sunday.
The latest track shows the WBIR Channel 10 viewing area getting anywhere form 1 to 4 inches of rain with strong wing gusts up to 40 mph. This rain will be welcome since we had a below average month for rainfall in September. Unfortunately, this also happens when many students will be enjoying their fall break, so make any travel plans with rainy days in mind.
Keep in mind it is too early to specify the exact timing, location or magnitude of impacts on the Gulf coast or inland at this time. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the storm and will continue provide updates as it makes its way to the U.S.