(WMC) - A system in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened to a tropical storm on Thursday morning. Tropical Storm Nate is expected to strengthen over the next few days as it pushes northwest.
When Nate moves into the warm water in the Gulf of Mexico, it is expected to become a category 1 hurricane by Sunday morning.
Although the strengthening to a hurricane will be brief, it will likely still be a category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds when it makes landfall east of New Orleans early Sunday. There will be impacts in the Florida panhandle and along the Mississippi and Alabama coast. Everyone along the coast will have heavy rain, gusty winds and high surf. It will quickly weaken to a tropical storm after landfall, but will still bring windy and rainy conditions into the Atlanta area.
A cold front in the central U.S. will help push this tropical system towards the east, so it is not expected to have any major impacts on the Mid-South. However, we will have scattered weekend showers and increased humidity on Saturday and Sunday.