Tropical Storm Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, has been identified in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center reported.
A tropical storm warning has been issued from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Port Aransas in Texas, with winds of at least 39mph expected in the next 36 hours.
Storm surge and tropical storm watches are in place, meaning there is a danger of life-threatening conditions, reports CNN.
The storm is predicted to gather pace, and reach the southern Texas coast or just offshore by Tuesday morning.
“With the exact track of Nicholas still uncertain, we still have a possibility of further strengthening if this storm stays offshore further northward,” said CNN’s meteorologist Tom Sater.
The center of the storm is expected to move through or near Texas on Monday evening. A flash flood watch is in effect for the coastal part of the region, which will be threatened by heavy rain.
“Even with an earlier landfall in southern Texas, this storm has the potential for widespread flash flooding. Houston can easily have problems with 4 to 5 inches of rain,” said Mr Sater. “More than that will create bigger problems.”
Storms are forecasted throughout the week in coastal Texas and Louisiana.
This 2021 storm season in the Atlantic has been above-average activity – Nicholas is the 14th named storm in the Atlantic basin, which ordinarily would not be expected to form for another month.
According to Palm Beach Post, only four other years since 1966 have had 13 or more named storms by September 8, including the hyperactive seasons of 2005 and 2020.
Several factors linked to the climate crisis are helping to fuel more powerful, destructive storms, scientists say. As the planet warms, more moisture is held in the atmosphere, which means that storms also bring the possibility of a lot more rainfall.
Earlier this month, Dr Tom Knutson, senior scientist with the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, told The Independent.: “Within about 150km of the storm center, we expect average rain flux rate to increase about 7 per cent for every one degree Celsius of global warming,”