The ferocious 2017 hurricane season shows no signs of letting up.
A newly formed tropical depression now spinning in the Caribbean Sea is forecast to move north into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen into a hurricane by the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.
As of 11 a.m. ET, the center of Tropical Depression 16 was located about 210 miles south-southeast of the Nicaragua/Honduras border. It had winds of 35 mph and was moving to the northwest at 7 mph.
A depression becomes a named storm when its winds reach 39 mph. The system will be called Nate.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect along the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras. Over the next couple of days, “rainfall amounts of 15 to 20 inches are expected across portions of Nicaragua, with isolated maximum amounts of 30 inches possible,” the hurricane center said, which could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
As the storm moves north, if it slides to the east or southeast of the Yucatan Peninsula, where waters are the warmest, “we could quickly have a powerful hurricane on our hands,” AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.