Tropical Storm Nate is making its way through the Caribbean and could bring flash flooding, isolated tornadoes and strong winds to northwest Georgia early next week, according to Channel 2 Action News.
A tropical storm watch was issued for North Georgia and metro Atlanta Friday evening by the National Weather Service.
Nate is expected to make landfall just east of New Orleans as a Category 1 hurricane with winds around 80 mph about 1 a.m. Sunday, Channel 2 Action News Chief meteorologist Glen Burns said.
The station declared Sunday a Severe Weather Alert Day since that’s when metro Atlanta will likely see the worst of the storm.
“You need to be weather-aware all day long because conditions could rapidly change,” Burns said.
Far northwest Georgia could get wind gusts up to 60 mph late Sunday into early Monday. Some areas could also get hit with more than 4 inches of rain.
Impacts in metro Atlanta are expected to be less severe, but the metro area could still get between 2 and 4 inches of rain with 30 mph winds.
Metro areas are facing an 80 percent chance of showers and storms Sunday and a 70 percent chance Monday.
Rain chances don’t start to back off until Tuesday when they drop to 40 percent, Channel 2 reported. There is also a 30 percent chance of rain Wednesday.
Up to a foot of rain could soak parts of Mississippi and Louisiana with storm surge of 4 to 8 feet along the coast, Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said.
Hurricane warnings and storm surge watches have already been issued for the coastline from Louisiana to the Alabama/Mississippi border.
The storm is expected to continue to strengthen as it moves over warm water and crosses over Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula Friday night, Channel 2 reported. The resort cities of Cancun and Cozumel will feel the full brunt of the storm, Minton said.
The storm is currently 80 miles east of Cozumel, with winds of 60 mph.