The National Hurricane Center on Wednesday said a tropical system in the southwest Caribbean is becoming more organized, and it is now known as Tropical Depression 16 as it heads north toward the Gulf of Mexico.
It is expected to become Tropical Storm Nate when it hits the warm waters of the Gulf.
Although it is too early to know how strong the storm will become or if and where it will make landfall, a few models have it becoming a Category 1 storm hitting the Florida Panhandle by the weekend.
The NHC said the system will continue to gain strength, with an 80 percent chance of development, and could make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast by Sunday. Because the storm has no clear center, predictions on where it will make landfall on the Gulf Coast are highly uncertain.
On Wednesday, the government of Nicaragua issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the coast of Nicaragua from Sandy Bay Sirpi northward to the Honduras border. The government of Honduras has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the coast of Honduras from Punta Castilla eastward to the border with Nicaragua.