Tropical Storm Nicholas Forms; Heading toward the Texas Coast

by 24USATVSept. 13, 2021, 5 a.m. 25
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Shortly after Jenny published her blog this morning, the National Hurricane Center initiated advisories on Tropical Storm Nicholas. The United States Air Force Hurricane Hunters investigating the system found it had developed a well-defined center with tropical-storm-force winds.

The system’s formation is a wee bit ahead of schedule, so it has some more time to become organized. The peak intensity forecast for Nicholas is now around 60 to 70 MPH sustained winds with higher gusts. Those stronger winds will be confined to a small portion of the northeast quadrant – most folks on the coast will not receive winds that strong.

With the forecast track of Nicholas, which is still subject to shift since it has just formed, a two to four-foot storm surge is possible along much of the Texas Coast. That means tides could be two to four feet above average over the coming days.

A few tornadoes will also be possible, especially in the northeast quadrant of Nicholas over the coming days. The initial threat for tornadoes will be confined to the Middle Texas Coast tomorrow. The limited tornado threat will move inland on Tuesday and Wednesday across Southeast Texas and East Texas. All of the above is subject to shift in conjunction with the system’s track.

All of those hazards are not including the heavy rain and flooding threat (see the detailed National Hurricane Discussion below for more on that)

I’m traveling this afternoon but will be set up to provide a more detailed blog post late tonight and through the upcoming week. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how Nicholas’s structure evolves today since that will dictate the rate of intensification over the next couple of days. The track of the system will also dictate how much rain we (in Texas) end up getting.

If the track shifts east, the higher rain totals may shift into Louisiana (again). The current forecast from the National Hurricane Center would prove to be problematic for Southeast Texas and the Upper Texas Coast in the rain department and flooding.

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