Tropical Depression 16 strengthens to Tropical Storm Nate

Tropical Depression 16 has formed in the southwestern Caribbean.

Update at 8 a.m. Thursday: ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Tropical Depression 16 has strengthened to Tropical Storm Nate.

The storm is about 10 miles south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as of the 8 a.m. Thursday update from the National Hurricane Center.

The tropical storm is moving northwest at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Castilla, Honduras.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.

The minimum central pressure is 999 mb.

Original Story at 5 a.m. Thursday: ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Tropical Depression 16 has formed in the southwestern Caribbean and is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm is moving northwest at 7 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Tropical Depression 16 is about 50 miles south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as of the 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

The depression could strengthen to a tropical storm before it moves inland over northeastern Nicaragua on Thursday.

If Tropical Depression 16 becomes a tropical storm as expected, it would be named Tropical Storm Nate.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Castilla, Honduras.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.

Tracking the tropics: Tropical Depression 16

There remains some degree of uncertainty in where it tracks, but the general area of concern will be between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. The storm will likely be a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane as it approaches the coast Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Everyone along the Central Gulf Coast should keep a close eye on the latest forecast as this storms develops over the next couple of days. Heavy rain, storm surge and strong winds will all be threats associated with this system.

The minimum central pressure is 1004 mb.

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