MEXICO CITY (AP/WNCN) — Tropical Storm Nate has formed off the coast of Nicaragua and is on a forecast track that shows it eventually approaching the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Nate’s maximum sustained winds Thursday morning are near 40 mph (65 kph) and the U.S. National Hurricane Center says strengthening is likely as the storm moves over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday.
The storm is centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) south Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and is moving northwest near 8 mph (13 kph). The storm’s current forecast track shows it possibly approaching the Gulf Coast over the weekend as a hurricane.
No matter what happens with the naming and development of this system, it does look like it could help contribute to rain in South Carolina later this weekend.
Several models have the system drifting into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend where the moisture from the system will get picked up and carried toward the Carolinas.
This will all be happening while the Carolinas prepare for the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Matthew on Sunday.
While the rain the potential tropical system would bring South Carolina would be nothing like the disastrous amounts we received one year ago, it could be the first decent rain our area has received in more than three weeks.
Parts of South Carolina remain “abnormally dry” according to the U.S. Drought Index as of Thursday.
A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system in the Caribbean Wednesday afternoon.