A Category 1 landfall is expected along the Northern Gulf Coast in Louisiana or Alabama where Tropical Storm Watches and Hurricane Watches are now in effect. The tropical storm could be "near hurricane intensity" by the time it brings destructive winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall to the Yucatan peninsula.
Nate is accelerating to 26mph and headed north-north-west on a course expected to take it onto the central Gulf Coast on Saturday night.
Nicaragua's vice-president and spokeswoman, Rosario Murillo, said that at least 11 people had died in that country due to the storm.
The storm had already carved a path of devastation in Central America. Certain coastal areas of Louisiana outside of levee protections are under mandatory evacuation orders.
As the fast-moving Tropical Storm Nate continued to approach the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, the New Orleans area remained poised for a direct h...
Tropical Storm Nate continues to generate sustained winds of 40 miles per hour tonight, despite being on land over Nicaragua for most of day today.
A hurricane warning is in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border and also for metropolitan New Orleans and nearby Lake Pontchartrain.
Since then, Landrieu said, crews have has worked hard to fix the pumps and ensure that the system can withstand the rains, but he warned residents to expect some flooding.
Lake Pontchartrain, west to Morgan City, Louisiana.
"We are taking the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Nate seriously and mobilizing all of the state's emergency preparedness and response mechanisms for a full readiness should this storm severely impact our state", Edwards said in a statement. Now more than 1,000 state guardsmen have been mobilized ahead of Nate, some in New Orleans to monitor drainage pumps, which have already undergone damage.
The United States is recovering from two major hurricanes: Hurricane Harvey that tore through Texas in August, and Hurricane Irma in September. A state of emergency was declared for Mississippi's six southernmost counties.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said 109 of its 120 pumps are functioning, which is 92% capacity. The storm is forecast to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 12 inches. Earlier Thursday, a voluntary evacuation was called for Grand Isle.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said he spoke with President Donald Trump on Saturday morning.