The eye of Tropical Storm Nate was located over northeast Nicaragua on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.
In its 2 p.m. advisory, the NHC said Nate was located about 50 miles northwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and 80 miles south-southwest of Puerto Lempira, Honduras, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was moving northwest at 9 mph.
“On the forecast track, the center of Nate should move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras today and then over the northwestern Caribbean Sea tonight and Friday,” the NHC said in its advisory. “The center is expected to approach the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday.”
Forecasters said Nate likely will strengthen over the northwestern Caribbean on Thursday night and early Friday.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua, to Punta Castilla, Honduras, and Punta Herrero, Mexico, to Rio Lagartos, Mexico. A hurricane watch is in effect for Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos.
Nicaragua can expect 15 to 20 inches of rainfall while Costa Rica and Panama should anticipate 5 to 10 inches of isolated rainfall accumulations.
Flash floods and mudslides could be potentially life-threatening for portions of Central America.
“There is the potential for a tropical storm or hurricane to make landfall along the Gulf coast from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle this weekend,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
Including Nate, there have been 13 tropical storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes so far this season.