Oct. 15, 2003 – Tropical Depression 19 became Tropical Storm Nicholas on Wednesday as the weather system continued on a track expected to take it north of the Virgin Islands. However, with the storm still a thousand miles away, forecasters warned that it could change course and put the territory in harm's way.
"It's too premature to disregard it," meteorologist Andy Roche with the National Weather Service in San Juan said on Wednesday.
As of 5 p.m., the storm was centered at 12.4 degrees north latitude and 44.5 degrees west longitude, putting it about 1,010 miles east of the Windward Islands. Sustained winds had increased to 50 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph. The system was moving west-northwest at 8 mph. The barometric pressure stood at 1,000 millibars or 29.52 inches.
Forecasters think Tropical Storm Nicholas will turn more toward the northwest during the next 24 hours. It is forecast to become a hurricane within the next 48 hours.
At of 5 p.m. Wednesday, tropical storm force winds extended outward 105 miles.
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