Forecasters Predict Tropical Storm Nate Could Hit US as a Hurricane This Weekend

Hurricane season may not be over, as Tropical Storm Nate is on its way.

The storm has already killed at least 22 people in Central America and is currently heading towards the U.S. Gulf Coast, Reuters reports.

ABC News reports that the storm could reach the U.S. as a hurricane over the weekend, adding that hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for the Northern Gulf Coast, which includes New Orleans.

Officials have not yet called for evacuations, but preparations are being put in place for the storm's expected arrival as a Category 1 hurricane with winds around 80 mph. Among the preparations, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 29 counties Thursday afternoon.

Early Friday morning, the storm was moving off Honduras and re-entering the Caribbean Sea. It is expected to cross over Mexico's Yucatan peninsula Friday night, with Cancun and Cozumel bearing the brunt of the storm. Once the storm moves toward the U.S., as much as a foot of rain could fall in parts of Mississippi and Louisiana.

The storm is then expected to weaken to a post-tropical system, although its path and strength could change.

At least 11 people died in Nicaragua, and Costa Rica’s government declared a state of emergency.

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