Weather

Nate strengthening as it crosses the Gulf, forecasters say. Will it become a Category 2 storm?

Hurricane Nate is expected to his South Mississippi late Saturday night.
Hurricane Nate is expected to his South Mississippi late Saturday night. National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Nate, which was upgraded from a tropical storm Friday night at 10:30, is quickly making its way across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“Hurricane Nate is moving north to northwest through the Gulf with sustained winds of 80 mph,” said National Weather Service New Orleans meteorologist Danielle Manning. “It is moving very quickly across the Gulf of Mexico.”

Manning said the storm is gaining strength as it makes it way toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“Nate is getting stronger and it could be a strong Category 1 when it makes landfall sometime tonight,” she said. “We also can’t rule out that Nate will become a Category 2 storm before it hits the Gulf Coast — this is in terms of wind shear, as the storm surge prediction, which could be between 4-9 feet, has not changed.”

As the storm approaches South Mississippi, Manning said conditions will start to worsen Saturday afternoon.

“If you live in a low-lying area, you need to be where you are going to be by early Saturday evening because the storm will move in quickly and it’s going to come over night,” Manning said. “You don’t want to be riding through flooded areas in the dark.”

Category

Sustained Winds

Types of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds

1

74-95 mph

64-82 kt

119-153 km/h

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

2

96-110 mph

83-95 kt

154-177 km/h

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

3

(major)

111-129 mph

96-112 kt

178-208 km/h

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

4

(major)

130-156 mph

113-136 kt

209-251 km/h

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

5

(major)

157 mph or higher

137 kt or higher

252 km/h or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Source: National Hurricane Center

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