After a brief pause in tropical activity, another system formed Wednesday in the Caribbean and will likely become Tropical Storm Nate, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Tropical Depression 16 is situated about 195 miles south-southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the border of Nicaragua and Honduras, the weather service said in its 2 p.m. ET advisory.
The system has sustained winds of about 35 mph, moving northwest at 7 mph, and “is expected to become a tropical storm later today or tonight.”
“On the forecast track, the depression should be nearing the coast of Nicaragua early Thursday, move across northeastern Nicaragua and east Honduras late Thursday, and emerge into the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday, ” the NHC said.
The government of Nicaragua has issued a Tropical Cyclone Warning for the coast of Nicaragua from Sandy Bay Sirpi northward to the Honduras border. In Honduras, the government has issued a Tropical Cyclone Warning for the coast of Honduras from Punta Castilla eastward to the border with Nicaragua.
Rainfall amounts of 15 to 20 inches are expected across portions of Nicaragua, with isolated maximum amounts of 30 inches and could cause “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”
The system’s proximity to, or maybe moving over land will keep it disorganized in the short term, but strengthening is more likely later Friday into Saturday as it moves northward, according to Fox News Meterologist Brandon Noriega.
Any possible impact from the blizzard on the United States is not yet clear, but the NHC’s forecast cone proves it may approach the eastern Gulf Coast near the Florida panhandle as a hurricane by Sunday.
“While there is still some model disagreement on track and intensity, the Gulf coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle must closely monitor forecast updates and think about preparations as a strengthening tropical storm or hurricane may impact these areas on Sunday, ” Noriega said.
Forecasters said the Atlantic hurricane season would be “above-normal, “ with 14 to 19 by the peak season.
An median Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, creates 12 named blizzards, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, according to NOAA.
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