— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) October 4, 2017
While the Gulf Coast and the United States and the Caribbean pick up the pieces following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria (and, in Puerto Rico’s case, Donald Trump), yet another tropical depression has formed in the region. According to AccuWeather, Tropical Depression 16 formed to the southeast of Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast, in the western portion of the Caribbean Sea. Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pinpointed the new weather movement’s location there at around 11 am local time on Wednesday morning.
In its current projected path, Tropical Depression 16 — which the Washington Post notes will likely become Tropical Storm Nate, and a hurricane shortly thereafter — will make its way into the Gulf of Mexico come Saturday morning. Before then, it will likely brush over the coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. And if this happens, AccuWeather reports people living in these and nearby Central American countries (and Caribbean islands) may not have enough time to prepare for the storm’s strengthening ill effects.
In a statement, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center said, “The system is forecast to continue strengthening over the Gulf of Mexico and could affect portions of the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane this weekend, with direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall. However, it is too early to specify the timing or magnitude of these impacts.” Even so, what is likely to become the season’s 14th named storm has a good chance of strengthening even more in the Gulf of Mexico this Saturday and Sunday, thereby becoming a hurricane and then heading straight for the Alabama and Florida coasts, along with Georgia and the Carolinas.