A tropical storm warning was issued late Friday morning for New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain, west to Morgan City, Louisiana, the hurricane center said, while a hurricane warning was issued from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border.
A storm surge warning was put in place from Morgan City to the Alabama-Florida line, as well as along the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
Nate killed at least 21 people as it passed Thursday over Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, where it caused widespread flash flooding and mudslides, officials said.
Strengthening over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, Nate was forecast to gain force as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula later Friday and strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall along the Gulf Coast, the hurricane center said.
Nate packed maximum sustained winds of 50 mph Friday morning and was moving north-northwest at 21 mph, the hurricane center said.