A hurricane watch and storm surge watch for portions of the northern Gulf Coast is expected to be issued Thursday night or Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center's latest update on Tropical Storm Nate.

Nate is forecast to reach the northern Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane with the threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall increasing from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle.

The storm is forecast to be near hurricane intensity when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday, the NHC said. Nate is located about 40 miles west-southwest of Puerto Lempira, Honduras and about 425 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico

The storm is moving toward the north-northwest at nearly 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

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