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NORAM | Sep 14, 2021

Two disturbances ‘highly likely’ to develop into storms, NHC warns

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Despite Tropical Storm Nicholas (far left) looming over the US Gulf Coast, two other disturbances are being tracked as the hurricane season ramps up in activity this week. (Satellite imagery courtesy of National Hurricane Center)

As Tropical Storm Nicholas continues to bear down on the US Gulf Coast, meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are being kept busy on Tuesday (September 14) with the monitoring of two other weather disturbances in the Atlantic. 

The closest system is a low-pressure trough located a couple of hundred miles northeast of the southeastern Bahamas.

In a 2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) advisory, the NHC indicated that the trough is producing a large area of disorganised showers and thunderstorms.  

“Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for gradual development during the next few days, and a tropical depression could form while the system moves north-northwestward to northward across the western Atlantic,” the US-based agency noted.

While formation chances over the next two to five days are placed at a “medium”, 40 and 60 per cent respectively, models have not yet declared it as a threat to the Caribbean.

The second disturbance is a low-pressure area, a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands, which continues to show signs of organisation. 

Sleuths at the NHC remarked that environmental conditions are conducive for development and will remain that way—spawning the formation of a tropical depression during the next couple of days. 

Two other systems, with varying degrees of development potential, are being monitored by the US-based National Hurricane Center alongside Tropical Storm Nicholas. (Photo: National Hurricane Center)

The likelihood of further growth was listed by the hurricane watchdog as “high”, at 70 and 90 per cent respectively over the next two to five days.

Moving generally westward at roughly 24 kilometres/hour across the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean, current projection models suggest this system is making a beeline towards the Lesser Antilles.

The next two available names on the 2021 North Atlantic Hurricane Season list are ‘Odette’ and ‘Peter’.

In the meantime, Tropical Storm Nicholas continues to weaken as it crawls over sections of the ‘Deep South’. 

As at 1:00 pm Central Daylight Time (CDT), the centre of Nicholas was located near latitude 29.4 North, longitude 95.0 West—or 55 kilometres southeast of Houston, Texas. 

Though weaker than its category one peak from yesterday, Nicholas is still a dangerous tropical storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts.

The storm surge warning, issued for west of High Island including Galveston Bay, has been discontinued.

See summary of storm watches and warnings in effect below:

Storm surge warning: High Island, Texas to Sabine Pass, which straddles Texas and Louisiana.
Tropical storm warning: High Island, Texas to Cameron, Louisiana
Storm surge watch: Sabine Pass to Cameron Louisiana

Tropical Storm Nicholas as seen from space at 1:00 pm CDT on Tuesday, September 14. (Content courtesy of NHC/NOAA)

On the forecast track, the NHC advised that additional weakening of Nicholas is forecast over the next few days, and the storm may devolve into a tropical depression by tonight. By Thursday, little motion is expected from the 14th named storm of the season after Nicholas makes an eastward turn is expected over Louisiana tomorrow.

“Widespread minor to isolated major river flooding is expected across portions of the upper Texas Gulf Coast and southern Louisiana and Mississippi,” the NHC said.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 kilometres, mainly over water to the southeast of the centre of Nicholas.

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