CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Here is the latest update from the National Hurricane Center on the approach of Tropical Storm Nicholas as of 5 a.m. We'll have more updates throughout the morning.
NICHOLAS FORECAST TO CAUSE FLASH FLOODING, DANGEROUS STORM SURGE AND GUSTY WINDS LATER TODAY...
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...
* Port Aransas to San Luis Pass Texas
* Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Port Aransas to Freeport Texas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Mouth of the Rio Grande to High Island Texas
* Barra el Mezquital to the U.S./Mexico border
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...
* Mouth of the Rio Grande to Port Aransas Texas
* San Luis Pass Texas to Rutherford Beach Louisiana, including Galveston Bay
* Baffin Bay and Corpus Christi Bay
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* East of High Island Texas to Sabine Pass
Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area in northeastern Mexico and southern Texas this morning, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. These conditions will spread northward within the warning area through tonight. Hurricane conditions are possible in the Hurricane Watch area as early as this afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by tonight or early Tuesday.
A tornado or two will be possible today into tonight across the Texas coast.
At 4 a.m. CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located over the western Gulf of Mexico about 45 miles (75 km) southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande River and about 200 miles (325 km) south of Port O'Connor, Texas. Nicholas is moving toward the north-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). The storm should turn northward later today and north-northeastward on Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicholas will pass near or just offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and south Texas this morning, and move onshore along the coast of south or central Texas Monday afternoon or evening.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb (29.56 inches). Strengthening is forecast for today, and Nicholas could reach the northwest Gulf coast as a hurricane. Weakening is anticipated on Tuesday and Wednesday over land.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:
- Port O'Connor to San Luis Pass TX including Matagorda Bay... 3-5 ft
- San Luis Pass, TX to Rutherford Beach, LA including Galveston Bay...2-4 ft
- Mouth of the Rio Grande to Port O'Connor, TX...2-4 ft
- Baffin Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, Aransas Bay and San Antonio Bay...2-4 ft
- Rutherford Beach, LA to Intracoastal City, LA...1-3 ft
- Sabine Lake and Calcasieu Lake...1-3 ft
Nicholas is expected to produce storm total rainfall of 8 to 16 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, across portions of the middle and upper Texas coastal areas through the middle of the week. Across the rest of coastal Texas into southwest Louisiana rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected. This rainfall may produce areas of considerable flash and urban flooding, especially in highly urbanized metropolitan areas. Additionally, there is the potential for isolated minor to moderate river flooding.
The next complete advisory will be issued by NHC at 10 a.m. CDT with an intermediate advisory at 7 a.m. CDT - www.hurricanes.gov