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Hurricane Nate will continue the risk of flash flooding and high winds across part of Central America and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it strengthens into Saturday.
As of Saturday morning, at least 25 people have been killed by the storm in Central America with more missing, according to Reuters.
Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solís declared a state of national emergency for the entire country Thursday morning.
In the short term, the most likely area for rapid strengthening will be the stretch of water off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
The greatest threats to lives and property in the western Caribbean will be from torrential rainfall, not only near the core of the storm, but also from distant severe thunderstorms.
On Thursday, rainfall totaled 278 mm (11 inches) in Liberia, Costa Rica. In 24 hours, from Thursday morning to Friday morning, close to 200 mm (8 inches) of rain fell in Rivas, Nicaragua.
Rainfall amounts of 50-130 mm (2-5 inches) are anticipated to fall across Honduras with localized amounts reaching 200 mm (8 inches) into the end of the week. Southern portions of Honduras and western portions of Nicaragua could be inundated with even larger rainfall totals.
The intense rainfall will lead to widespread flooding and mudslides across Central America, southeastern Mexico and western Cuba.
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The severity of the winds will depend on how quickly Nate strengthens. However, intense wind damage similar to that of Irma and Maria farther east in the Caribbean in recent weeks is not likely.
There will be the potential for localized power outages, blocked roads and property damage.
Gusts of 65-97 km/h (40-60 mph) are likely in thunderstorms that erupt even 160 km (100 miles) away from the center.
As Nate strengthens through Saturday morning, the strongest wind gusts between 120 and 145 km/h (75 and 90 mph) are possible along the coasts of Belize and the Mexico states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan. Higher gusts are possible if Nate strengthens beyond a Category 1 hurricane.
Bathers should avoid venturing into the water due to the building surf.
Small craft should remain in port, and cruise interests may want to avoid the northwestern Caribbean and the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Conditions will generally improve over Central America and adjacent Caribbean waters this weekend. However, river flooding may continue in some areas.
Beyond the Caribbean, Nate will move northward toward the United States central Gulf of Mexico coast, where landfall is forecast as a hurricane on Sunday.
People in the United States' northern and eastern Gulf coast should keep up to date on the situation.
"The Atlantic basin may yield one more major (Category 3 or stronger) hurricane, which would bring the 2017 seasonal total to six," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
The Atlantic basin includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
AccuWeather is projecting a total of 17 tropical storms, which includes 11 hurricanes, through December 2017 in the Atlantic. Hurricane season officially ends at the end of November.
Including Nate, there have been 14 tropical storms, eight hurricanes and five major hurricanes as of Oct. 5.
"To stay safe, we urge people to keep checking AccuWeather.com and the AccuWeather apps for the latest developments," AccuWeather Founder, President and Chairman Dr. Joel N. Myers said.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
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Tropical Depression 24 joined Tropical Storm Vicente in the eastern Pacific early Saturday, and both storms could bring impacts to southern and southwestern Mexico into next week.
Locally gusty winds will contribute to an elevated risk of wildfire ignition and spread across parts of Southern California through Saturday.
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