MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Tropical Storm Nate gained in strength on Friday evening becoming a Category 1 hurricane as it moved past the Mexican shore toward the United States, the US National Hurricane Center warned.
"An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft just penetrated the center of Nate and reported hurricane-force winds," the NHC said in a status update.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall on the US Gulf coast early Sunday morning.
A state of emergency has been proclaimed for the states of Louisiana, northern Florida and southernmost Mississippi in anticipation of potential severe weather and heavy rainfall.
Earlier this week, the storm barrelled through Central America, wreaking havoc and killing more than 20 people in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador.