Nate gained hurricane strength late Friday night. Hurricane, tropical storm, and storm surge alerts are in effect.
At 1000 AM CDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Nate was located
near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 88.4 West. Nate is moving
rapidly toward the north-northwest near 26 mph (43 km/h), and this
general motion is expected to continue through this evening. A turn
toward the north is forecast tonight, followed by a turn toward the
northeast. On the forecast track, the center of Nate will move
across the northern Gulf of Mexico today and will make landfall
along the central U.S. Gulf Coast tonight.
Reports from NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft
indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 90 mph
(150 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected
before landfall, and Nate is forecast to be a category 2 hurricane
on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale when the center reaches
the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km),
primarily to the east of the center and tropical-storm-force winds
extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).
The minimum central pressure estimated from the Hurricane Hunter
aircraft data is 984 mb (29.06 inches).