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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The center of Hurricane Nate is approaching the Mississippi River as tropical storm conditions spread onshore in southeastern Louisiana.

At 5 p.m., the center of the storm was about 50 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 140 miles south of Biloxi.

Nate is moving toward the north-northwest near 23 mph (37 km/h). A turn toward the north and a slight decrease in forward speed are expected during the next several hours, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast later tonight.

A motion toward the northeast is expected on Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Nate will pass near or over the mouth of the Mississippi River during the next few hours, then make landfall along the coasts of southeastern Louisiana or Mississippi tonight. After landfall, the center of Nate is expected to pass over portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee late tonight through Sunday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible before landfall, and Nate could still become a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale this evening. Rapid weakening is expected after landfall.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) mainly to the east of the center. The NOAA automated station at Southwest Pass, Louisiana, recent reported sustained winds of 48 mph (78 km/h) and a wind gust of 60 mph (96 km/h) at an elevation of 125 feet.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Grand Isle Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border
* Metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Grand Isle Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida
* Northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Lake Maurepas
* West of Grand Isle to Morgan City Louisiana
* East of the Alabama/Florida border to Indian Pass Florida

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Lake Maurepas
* East of the Alabama/Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line

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