Tropical Storm Nicholas forms in Gulf of Mexico, targets Texas coast

The southern half of Texas’ coast went under a tropical storm warning on Sunday after Nicholas formed in the Gulf of Mexico and began its approach.

The National Hurricane Center issued a warning for Tropical Storm Nicholas from the the mouth of the Rio Grande to Port Aransas, near Corpus Cristi.

The storm is currently moving over the Gulf of Mexico at 13 miles per hour and is expected to make a slower landfall. “The center of Nicholas will pass near or just offshore the the coasts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas late Monday,” the center said.

Current projections show the anticipated winds will reach a maximum of 40 miles per hour, meaning it is not forecast to become a hurricane.

The storm is nonetheless expected to bring between five and ten inches of rain to parts of coastal Texas, reaching a maximum of 15 inches in isolated places. Southwest Louisiana should expect heavy rain by the middle of the week.

A storm surge watch was also issued for the south Texas coast, with the NHC warning of “a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline” for the next 48 hours.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said Saturday his office is preparing for storm.

“The State of Texas has deployed resources ahead of this tropical system, which is expected to impact the Gulf Coast beginning on Sunday,” 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.”