Tropical Storm Nate continues to strengthen and move rapidly north-northwest in the general direction of Cozumel and the Gulf of Mexico.

At 10 a.m., Nate was located near 18.7 N and 85.0 W, or about 175 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Sustained winds were up to 50 mph and pressure had dropped to 996 MB (29.42”). Hurricane Warnings have been posted for a stretch of the northern Gulf Coast from Grand Isle, La., to the Alabama-Florida border as Nate is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane by landfall in the United States.

This projected path will keep it well east of the upper Texas coast. As a consequence, impacts locally will be minimal, but still apparent this weekend. A complex pattern with a low pressure trough drifting west in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Nate, will result in increasing clouds and a chance of rain tomorrow.

The clouds and any rain will result from a combination of the westward moving disturbance and outer bands of Nate as it moves north toward landfall over extreme southeast Louisiana or the Mississippi coast. However, rainfall amounts will be modest at best.

Other impacts will be a continuation of tide levels running 1-2 feet above normal, swells, dangerous rip currents and off-shore seas up to 8 feet.

On the plus side for us, a cold front is expected to reach the coast late Tuesday, bringing noticeably cooler weather for the middle of the week.

Stan Blazyk is a life-long weather enthusiast, long-time Galveston resident and author of "A Century of Galveston Weather." He has written the weather blog for the Galveston County Daily News for more than a decade.

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