Tropical Storm Nicholas forms in Gulf of Mexico; 4 disturbances move in the Atlantic

By David Harris and Nelly Ontiveros

ORLANDO, Fla. — A tropical disturbance in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico became Tropical Storm Nicholas Sunday morning.

Nicholas is 130 miles northeast of Veracruz, Mexico, and 405 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande. The system is now moving north-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the NHC’s 11 a.m. EDT update.

Tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued for territories going from the east coast of Mexico to the south coast of Texas.

“On the forecast track, the center of Nicholas will pass near or just offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas late Monday, and approach the south or central Texas coast Monday night or early Tuesday,” said Daniel Brown, NHC Hurricane specialist.

The NHC is monitoring four other tropical disturbances in the Atlantic that have a chance to become a depression or storm.

There could be a gradual development where the waves transform to a tropical depression early next week as they move west over the Atlantic, according to the NHC.

The closest one to Florida is a low that is expected to form near the southeastern Bahamas in the next few days with a 50% chance of formation by next week. Gradual development is possible as it moves northwest across the Atlantic. It’s still unclear what impact if any it will have on the Sunshine State.

There are two disturbances off the coast of Africa.

A wave is expected to move off the west coast of Africa in the next few days and has a 10% chance of formation in the next 48 hours and a 60% chance of formation by next week.

There’s also a tropical wave causing disorganized showers and thunderstorms near the Cabo Verde Islands. It has a 20% chance of formation by next week.

The last disturbance is located a few hundred miles east-northeast of the Azores and is expected to move south-southeast toward warmer waters, which will allow favorable conditions for development. The system has a 20% chance of developing by next week.

If these systems form into tropical storms, they would be named Tropical Storm Odette, Tropical Storm Peter and Tropical Storm Rose. The 2021 season has already seen 13 named systems including five hurricanes, three of which have been major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Larry, which made landfall in Newfoundland Friday night, became a post-tropical cyclone Saturday morning and it continues to produce swells in the North Atlantic shores. The NHC stopped keeping track of it by Saturday evening, but thousands were still without power.

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