March 18 2018

Gulf storm could cause floods, mudslides in Central America: NHC

March 18 2018, 05:03 | Van Peters

Tropical Depression 16 – 11 Wed update

Tropical Depression 16 – 11 Wed update

"Strengthening is likely over the northwestern Caribbean Sea tonight and Friday".

The computer models are in better agreement on an overall track to the north-northwest, as Nate is expected to be generally steered by a subtropical ridge of high pressure over the western Atlantic. No drilling rigs were evacuated, but one movable rig was taken out of the storm's path.

Of those operators, supermajor BP says it is closely monitoring the storm to safely ensure its personnel and operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

A Tropical Storm Watch is issued when a tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 39 mph or higher poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.

In Nicaragua, three people have been reported missing and schools also shut due to the rainfall, which the Miami-based center said could be as much as 30 inches in some isolated areas.

Officials in Costa Rica said at least 6 people died: 4 Costa Ricans - including a 3-year-old girl - hit by falling trees and mudslides, and two young Nicaraguan farm workers.

AccuWeather projected a total of 17 tropical storms, including 11 hurricanes, in the Atlantic by the time the hurricane season officially ends November 30.

Earlier, a voluntary evacuation was called in the barrier island town of Grand Isle south of New Orleans.

This afternoon, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will be meeting with the Unified Command Group to conduct updates on the storm. Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of Nate and heed any advice given by local officials.

Thursday morning's forecast put the storm - which on Wednesday was shown beelining to Bay County - making landfall to our west shortly after becoming a Category 1 hurricane early Sunday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving north-northwest at 10 miles per hour.

BP Plc (BP.L) said on Thursday it was shutting-in all oil and natural gas production from its U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms ahead of Tropical Storm Nate.

"We would probably see some impact on the west side", said Seth Warthen, a NWS forecaster at Lake Charles.

Nate was moving toward the northwest near 9 miles per hour (15 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm could cause risky flooding by dumping as much as 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 centimeters) of rain on Nicaragua, with higher accumulations in a few places.

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