Weather Education

Hurricane Nate in 2017

Hurricane Nate started as tropical depression #16 on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 east of Honduras, in the western Caribbean. It moved ashore in Honduras as Tropical Storm Nate- a minimal tropical storm, before moving through Nicaragua producing deadly floods. Nate then moved northwestward into the Gulf, slowly strengthening.

Hurricane Nate made landfall on the Mississippi coast, Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 12:30am as a category 1 storm. Winds at landfall near Biloxi, were 85mph. At that time, hurricane-force winds extended outward only 35 miles from the center of the storm. At landfall, Nate was moving northward at 20mph. With regard to the strongest wind, Nate was a compact hurricane. The eye travelled north-northeastward along the Mississippi-Alabama State line.

Storm surge east of the eye, in the News 5 area, ranged from 4 to 8 feet. Rainfall ranged from 5 to 7 inches in the News 5 area. Here are a few rainfall reports…

7.5” Crestview, FL

7.0” Milton, FL

6.5” Foley, AL

5.7” WKRG-TV, Mobile

4.7” Biloxi, MS

A few tornadoes occurred in the outer feeder bands, well before the storm came ashore. One started as a waterspout near Orange Beach, and one was in Mobile.

Winds throughout the News 5 area gusted well-over 60mph. While winds could have been higher in between weather stations, here are some of the recorded peak gusts…

70mph Biloxi, MS

70mph Fort Morgan, AL

70mph Calvert, AL

66mph Mobile, AL

62mph Pascagoula, MS

58mph Destin, FL

While scattered communities in the WKRG area lost power, and trees were downed in some spots, the impact overall was much less than it was for stronger storms like Ivan and Katrina. By midday on October 8, the fast-moving Nate was downgraded to a tropical depression, heading toward Tennessee.

For comparison, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s 2nd landfall was west of Biloxi on the Mississippi coast but Katrina’s winds at that point were 125mph, and the hurricane-force winds extended out from the center 125 miles. Katrina was moving northward at 15mph when it hit the Mississippi coast.


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