NEW ORLEANS, LA. - Hurricane Nate continues to strengthen and speed up as it books to the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico Saturday morning.
The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Nate will pass by the mouth of the Mississippi River before making landfall in coastal Mississippi as a category 2 storm around 11 p.m. Saturday.
As of 10 a.m., Nate is moving north-northwest at a rapid 26 mph with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. It is currently located 180 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Category 2 hurricanes have maximum sustained winds greater than measured at 95 mph.
The projected track is for the storm to be about due south of Louisiana, before veering to the east, but some of southeast Louisiana is in the cone of probability.
Hurricane warnings are in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border as well as metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
Hurricane winds are expected along the Gulf coast Saturday night, with tropical storm conditions extending into Sunday.
Isolated tornadoes will be possible beginning Saturday afternoon over parts of the Gulf coast.
The National Hurricane Center expects heavy rainfall of three to six inches of rain with isolated totals of 10 inches east of the Mississippi River. These rains could cause potential flash flooding.
Storm surge warnings are in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida as well as the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
A storm surge between two to eight feet above normal is expected. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location.
A storm surge warning means there is a possibility of life-threatening flooding from rising water moving inland from the coastline.
We will be tracking it closely and will keep you updated. The next advisory from the National Hurricane Center will be at 1 p.m. Central Time.
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