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The National Hurricane Center projects Tropical Storm Nate to become a hurricane before it hits the gulf coast, then heading toward the Mid-Atlantic by next week.
The National Hurricane Center projects Tropical Storm Nate to become a hurricane before it hits the gulf coast, then heading toward the Mid-Atlantic by next week. (National Hurricane Center)

Tropical Storm Nate is forecast to strengthen as it approaches the Gulf Coast, and could reach the Baltimore region as a tropical depression early next week.

The storm was closing in on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Friday but is forecast to speed northward over the coming days. Hurricane warnings were issued Friday morning for Louisiana and Mississippi, with the storm expected to hit by Sunday.

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National Hurricane Center meteorologists warned that "the threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall is increasing from Louisiana through the western Florida Panhandle."

Nate is not expected to linger over those areas. Forecasters expect it to cross the Southeastern U.S. on Sunday and Monday.

Ahead of Nate, National Weather Service forecasters expect it to "feel more like late August/early September instead of October," with more highs in the 80s expected Saturday. Tropical moisture separate from Nate is expected to bring showers and humidity on Sunday.

Remnants of Nate are expected to be over the region Monday, bringing rain and some risks of thunder and lightning and blustery winds, forecasters said.

Temperatures are expected to remain "atypically warm" through Tuesday or Wednesday, forecasters said.

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