The “bad side” of Hurricane Nate will put its strongest winds and storm surge on the right side of wherever Nate makes landfall.
That’s a cause for concern if Nate follows its present course and makes landfall somewhere in Pass Christian, Long Beach or Gulfport late Saturday or Sunday, said Earl Etheridge, director of Jackson County Emergency Services.
In Gulfport, waves are crashing onto U.S. 90, police report.
“We will be on the extreme right side where all the strong winds and storm surge are,” Etheridge said.
“You take the center and make a cross hair and we will be in the right, front quadrant.”
Nate could make landfall between midnight and 1 a.m.
The “bad side” of a hurricane isn’t always on the east side of a hurricane. It’s on the right side of the direction a hurricane is moving, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Biloxi will still get hit,” Etheridge said. “It won’t get skipped.”
“It’s about the contour of the land.”
A direct hit in Harrison County would cause water “to pile up” in Biloxi’s Back Back, Etheridge said.
“In Jackson County, you’ll have the water piling up on the beachfront, Fort Bayou, the Pascagoula River and points east.
“We’re already getting a number of roads under water.”
The phenomenon also depends on how the rain bands radiate out from the center, he said.
“They’re off to the right side now and that means it will have the heavier rain and wind embedded in them.”
Nate is moving north at 20 mph with sustained winds of 85 mph after touching down about 7 p.m. just southwest of the Mississippi River in Louisiana.