The National Hurricane Center is now projecting that Tropical Storm Nate will reach Louisiana this weekend.
The latest storm path released on Thursday shows that Nate is projected to hit Louisiana on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 8:00 a.m. Though Nate is currently being classified as a tropical storm, it is expected to be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it gets close to New Orleans. It was already upgraded from a tropical depression to a tropical storm on Thursday.
However, these are just the projections as of Thursday, and it’s difficult to tell exactly where the hurricane might make landfall this far out. According to The Weather Channel, the uncertainty surrounding Nate is even higher than usual.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) October 5, 2017
There is still the possibility that the storm will intensify in the next few days as it heads to the United States.
“How much Nate is able to strengthen once it hits those warm waters depends a lot on how intact the center of the storm can maintain as it traverses land,” CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. “If it gets ragged, it will take some time to reform over the ocean, and that will mean less time to gain in intensity. But if it manages to stay together while over Central America, it will be able to take advantage of those warm waters and quickly strengthen, maybe even undergo ‘rapid intensification.'”
A bit of Florida is also included in the current Nate projections, although the storm has shifted westward since Wednesday, when it was originally projected to hit most of North Florida.
In New Orleans, the state is continuing to make repairs to its drainage system, with many pumps remaining inoperable, according to The Times-Picayune.
This comes after a string of damaging hurricanes hit the United States over the past few weeks: Harvey, Irma and Maria. Nate is not currently expected to be as intense, though Louisiana residents are urged to keep an eye on the storm and on more information released by the National Hurricane Center over the next few days.