As of the 5 a.m. NHC update, the system had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.
The storm, which is still a tropical storm as of the National Hurricane Center's 2 p.m. advisory Thursday morning, is expected to head toward the USA this weekend.
The government of Honduras has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the coast of Honduras from Punta Castilla eastward to the border with Nicaragua.
The storm is expected to dump up to 20 inches of rain over Nicaragua, and up 10 inches over Costa Rica and Panama. The storm will likely be a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane as it approaches the coast Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Hurricane Harvey barrelled into the U.S. state of Texas, killing 82 and unleashing biblical flooding to levels not seen since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Once the system is upgraded to tropical storm status, it will be named Nate. "However, it is too early to specify the timing, location, or magnitude of these impacts".
"Regardless of development, this system will produce heavy rains over portions of Central America during the next few days, likely causing flash floods and mudslides", officials said. The Yucatán Peninsula may be impacted by tropical storm or hurricane conditions Friday and Saturday.
Little change in strength is expected today as the center of Nate moves across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras.
But the core, which contains the probable path of the eye of the storm, shows that Nate could hit anywhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.