New storm threatens US Gulf Coast

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Washington, Oct 5 (IANS) A new storm forming in the southwestern Caribbean near Central America could reach the US Gulf Coast by this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

Tropical Depression Sixteen, as it was named by the Centre on Wednesday morning, was located approximately 200 miles from the Nicaragua/Honduras border and has sustained winds of 35 mph, reports CNN.

The system is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Nate before moving into Nicaragua on Thursday morning and over eastern Honduras later in the day.

Extreme rainfall of 15 to 20 inches are possible in Nicaragua, with up to 8 inches in Honduras, which could bring life-threatening flash floods and mudslides through Friday morning, the Washington-based NHC said.

The water is warm enough to allow for Nate to potentially see “rapid intensification” — meaning conditions were just right and would allow for tropical cyclones to gain strength very quickly.

“Rapid intensification is a possibility over the northwestern Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico while the system is traversing rather warm and deep waters,” the Centre said on Wednesday.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria all underwent rapid intensification on their way to becoming major hurricanes earlier this season, it added.

–IANS

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