Tropical Depression 16 has formed in the Caribbean and is heading toward the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday morning. But there's a good chance it becomes Tropical Storm Nate.
What we do know is that "Nate" should move north, into the Gulf by Friday or Saturday. So far, local forecasts are calling for higher rain chances around 50% to 60%. While most likely not a major hurricane, we could still deal with tropical weather conditions over the weekend.
On Friday, computer models forecast it to pass over the Yucatán Peninsula, near Cancun, or just to the east through the Yucatan Channel (between the Yucatán Peninsula and Cuba).
The National Weather Service expects a tropical depression could strengthen into a hurricane and threaten the Florida panhandle by this weekend.
Hurricane hunters could be sent to investigate the system on Wednesday afternoon, forecasters said. This is not an official forecast, but the models are often used as guidance for creating the projected path for a storm.
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Regardless of development, this system will likely produce heavy rains over portions of Central America during the next few days.
There is no way to tell, at this point, of how strong or weak the system could be upon landfall because of too many unknown variables, Norman said.
For now, all interests along the U.S. Gulf Coast, particularly from Louisiana to Florida, should monitor the progress of this system closely.
Remember hurricane season continues through the end of November and the NHC is monitoring two areas of concern.
Hurricane season runs through November 30, and although activity has slowed down in the past 10 days, it has not ceased.
The next Atlantic system that develops into a tropical depression will be designated as "Nate", followed by "Ophelia".