Right on the heels of several devastating hurricanes, forecasters are cautiously urging Alabamians to keep their eye on a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico this week.
At this point, it is too early to tell the strength or path of the system, said John DeBlock, acting meteorologist at the National Weather Service, Birmingham. As of 11 a.m. ET, the center of Tropical Depression 16 was located about 210 miles south-southeast of the Nicaragua/Honduras border.
A depression becomes a named storm when its winds reach 39 mph. The system will be called Nate.
The last Hurricane Nate hit Mexico in 2011 but never made it to Alabama after weakening significantly over mainland Mexico.
DeBlock said it is still a good time for people to restock their supplies of batteries, fresh water, canned goods and any other emergency supplies.
“Any time one of these systems is on the map that means it is a good time to do a self-check,” he said.
More: Tropical depression forms in Caribbean; likely to impact Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane
Right now, Alabamians should monitor the storm throughout the week to see how it will affect the state. If the system does hit the area, DeBlock said it would likely be sometime between Sunday and Monday.
There are multiple hazards, he said, including high winds, rainfall, flooding and tornadoes. “It is a multi-faceted threat as the storm approaches.”
Though there were a few power outages and stronger weather conditions in Alabama resulting from Irma, the area has largely been spared from the extreme storms that have affected places like Puerto Rico, Houston and parts of Florida.
More: Alabama Lt. Col. Harvey Yarborough experiences Puerto Rico devastation first-hand ___
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