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The New Orleans metropolitan area is under a hurricane watch as Tropical Storm Nate moves across the eastern coast of Honduras Thursday night, the National Hurricane Service said in its 10 p.m. update.

The NHC also issued the watch for Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi-Alabama border and Lake Ponchartrain and Lake Maurepas. A storm surge watch is also in effect for Morgan City to the Alabama-Florida border and the northern and western shores of Lake Ponchartrain.

Nate is expected to make landfall on the northern Gulf Coast this weekend, with projections saying it could hit south of New Orleans as a Category 1 hurricane early Sunday. Nate could reach near hurricane intensity when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday. 

The storm is about 95 miles east-southeast from Isla Guanaja, Honduras and about 355 miles south-southeast from Cozumel, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, the NHC said. The storm is moving toward the northwest at nearly 12 mph. 

A turn toward the north-northwest is expected overnight, with Nate accelerating along that heading through Saturday. Nate is forecast to move offshore the eastern coast of Honduras during the next several hours, move across the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday and reach the eastern coast of Yucatan peninsula Friday evening. 

Nate will then move into the southern Gulf of Mexico Friday night and approach the northern Gulf coast Saturday evening. 

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