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Tropical Storm Nate (15L) Could Reach Hurricane Strength Before Making Landfall Over Mexico – September 11th, 2011

22.8N 94.6W

September 11th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Nate (15L) - September 10th, 2011

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Track of Tropical Storm Nate (15L) - September 10th, 2011 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 15L

At 1:00 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Nate (15L) was located by an air force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft near latitude 20.1 north, longitude 94.2 west.

Nate has been moving slowly toward the west near 2 mph (4 km/h) over the past few hours. A slightly faster westward motion is expected over the next couple of days, and on the forecast track the center of Nate will reach the coast of Mexico in the warning area on Sunday.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center. The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the aircraft is 1000 mb (29.53 inches). Preliminary data from the aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Nate could be near hurricane strength as it approaches the coast of Mexico on Sunday.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Mexico from Tampico to Veracruz, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Mexico from Tampico to Punta El Lagarto. Hazards affecting land include wind, rainfall and storm surge. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area by tonight or early Sunday. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by midday Sunday.

Nate is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 6 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches over the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco. A storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast near and to the north of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.