Statoil pulling staff from Gulf facility ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

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In Baton Rouge, Gov. John Bel Edwards planned to meet with state emergency officials in the afternoon, prior to a news conference. "Nate could reach the southern Gulf of Mexico by early Saturday morning and intensify to a hurricane before it makes landfall somewhere along the Louisiana coast on Sunday morning".

Nate was about 10 mi south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, with top winds of 40 mi/hr, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said an advisory at 8 a.m.

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Over the weekend, another ridge is expected to build over the southeast US coast and move the storm more to the northwest at a faster speed.

Tropical Storm Nate's trajectory as of 4 p.m. October 5. A hurricane watch is in effect for the same stretch of coastline.

Nate is expected to significantly speed up in the next couple of days.

The real concern comes with what kind of shape the storm's core is in after that landfall as it enters the much warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

There is about 45% chance Nate will disrupt energy production in the Gulf, said Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

The 14th named storm in the Atlantic this season "could" bring impacts to Middle Tennessee by late weekend.

TORNADO, FLOODING RISK? Tornadoes will be possible in the spiral bands wrapping around the storm.

Because of this, rapid intensification is possible, similar to the way Hurricane Harvey strengthened before landfall in South Texas in August, and forecast models are incapable of predicting that.

Nate is then forecast to head toward the U.S. Gulf Coast over the weekend, causing extensive storm surge and heavy flooding in parts of Florida and Louisiana including St. Bernard Parish east of New Orleans. Up to 30 inches of rain is forecast in Nicaragua, which could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said.

Additionally, Mayor Landrieu led a tabletop briefing this morning with the National Weather Service and City officials on Tropical Storm Nate.

The release to a drainage bayou is meant to prevent a greater spill during the storm, the EPA said, adding there are no anticipated impacts to the environment.

Forecasters say the system is near the coast of Nicaragua.

Some offshore oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were also being evacuated ahead of the storm, the USA government Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement.

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