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Forecasters: Tropical Storm Nicholas forms in Gulf of Mexico

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Tropical storm Nicholas

Tropical Storm Nicholas’s path projected by the National Hurricane Center. National Hurricane Center/Provided

MIAMI — Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sept. 12 that Tropical Storm Nicholas has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nicholas is expected to produce between 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches, across portions of coastal Texas into southwest Louisiana on Sept. 12 through midweek.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for coastal Texas and the northeast coast of Mexico.

Based on the Hurricane Center's current forecast, the storm is unlikely  to significantly impact South Carolina, said Brittany McNamara, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Though the storm’s long-range track remains uncertain among forecasters, the Weather Service recommends people monitor updates to the system’s forecast as it progresses, she said.

At 5 p.m. Sept. 12, the storm was in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Hurricane Center. Nicholas’s maximum sustained winds were reported at 40 mph and moving north-northwest at 14 mph.

Over the eastern portions of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, rainfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches can be expected Sept. 12 into Sept. 13.

As a precaution, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state resources to be placed on standby along the length of the Texas Gulf Coast.

“We will continue to closely monitor this storm and take all necessary precautions to keep Texans safe,” Abbott said in a statement. “I encourage Texans to follow the guidance and warnings of their local officials and be mindful of potential heavy rain and flooding.”

Hurricane Wire is a pop-up newsletter during hurricane season that delivers anyone who lives on the East Coast all the information they need to know as storms brew in the Atlantic and beyond.

Among the state resources placed on standby were air and boat rescue teams and emergency medical groups.

The storm was expected to bring the heaviest rainfall west of where Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana two weeks ago. Although forecasters did not expect Louisiana to suffer from strong winds again, meteorologist Bob Henson at Yale Climate Connections predicted rainfall could still plague places where the hurricane toppled homes, paralyzed electrical and water infrastructure and left at least 26 people dead.

Across Louisiana, 140,198 customers — or about 6.3 percent of the state — remained without power on Sunday morning, according to the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards urges people in the southern portion of the state to keep a close eye on the storm and be prepared for heavy rains and flash flooding, he wrote in a Sept. 12 tweet. 

Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach wrote on Twitter that Nicholas is the 14th named storm of 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Only four other years since 1966 have had 14 or more named storms by Sept. 12: 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Follow Olivia Diaz on Twitter @oliviardiaz.

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