September 23, 2021

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Tropical Storm Nicholas will bring up to 16 inches of rain to Texas

Tropical Storm Nicholas, which formed on Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico, could bring heavy rain on the Texas and Louisiana coasts on Monday and Tuesday as the 14th named storm of 2021 Atlantic hurricane season continues to strengthen. the National Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Texas coast from the Rio Grande mouth in Freeport, Texas, about 60 miles south of Houston, the center said. Mexico has also issued a tropical storm warning from Barra El Mezquital north to the US-Mexico border.

Hurricane surveillance is also in place for the Texas coast, from San Luis Pass to Port Aransas, just east of Corpus Christi, the center said.

Nicholas could produce total rainfall of 8 to 16 inches, with isolated amounts of up to 20 inches, in parts of the Texas coast on Sunday and as late as mid-week, the hurricane center said.

In southwestern Louisiana and parts of eastern Texas, the storm could produce total rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, which could cause “major flash and urban flooding,” the storm. the hurricane center said.

Meteorologists said the center of the storm is expected to pass near or just off the coasts of northeastern Mexico and southern Texas on Monday. Early Tuesday morning, the storm will shift to the coast along the southern and central Texas coasts.

Nicholas is expected to strengthen until he reaches the northwestern part of the Gulf Coast on Monday evening or early Tuesday morning, the center said. By 5 p.m. EST on Sunday, the storm was moving north at 2 miles per hour.

These have been dizzying months for meteorologists, as the start of the hurricane peak season, from August to November, led to a series of named storms that quickly followed one another, bringing thunderstorms, floods and storms. destructive winds in parts of the United States and the Caribbean.

Tropical Storm Mindy hit the Florida Panhandle on September 8, just hours after its formation in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Larry, which formed on September 1, strengthened into a Category 3 storm two days later and then weakened. It hit Canada as a Category 1 hurricane and caused widespread blackouts in Newfoundland.

The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming increasingly evident. A warming planet can expect to see stronger hurricanes over time and a greater incidence of more powerful storms. But the total number of storms could decrease, as factors such as stronger wind shear could prevent weaker storms from forming.

Hurricanes also get wet due to increased water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; Scientists have suggested that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than it would have without human effects on the climate. In addition, sea level rise contributes to increased storm surges, the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.

A major UN climate report released in August warned that countries have delayed reducing fossil fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer prevent global warming from escalating over the next 30 years, resulting in heat waves. life-threatening and severe droughts more frequent. According to the report, tropical cyclones have likely gotten more intense over the past 40 years, a change that cannot be explained by natural variability alone.

Ana became the first named storm of the season on May 23, making it the seventh consecutive year that a named storm developed in the Atlantic Ocean prior to the official start of the season on June 1.

In May, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that there would be 13 to 20 named storms this year, six to ten of them would be hurricanes, and three to five large Category 3 or more hurricanes in the year. Atlantic. In early August, in a mid-season forecast update, they went on to warn that this year’s hurricane season would be above average, suggesting a challenging end to the season.

NOAA’s Matthew Rosencrans said an updated forecast suggests that by the end of the season, November 30, there will be 15 to 21 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes. Nicholas is the 14th named storm of 2021.

There were 30 named storms last year, including six major hurricanes, which forced forecasters to run out of the alphabet for a second time and switch to using Greek letters.

It was the highest number of storms on record, surpassing 28 in 2005, and included the second highest number of hurricanes on record.

Christopher Mele contributed to the report.

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