CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend may have been spared from most of the effects of Tropical Storm Nicholas, but the weather event still could cause some life-threatening flash floods across the southern United States during the next couple of days.
The latest update from the National Hurricane Center provides the latest details on Nicholas, which dropped to a tropical storm early Tuesday morning.
* Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Sargent to Sabine Pass including Galveston Bay.
* A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Matagorda to Cameron.
* A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Sabine Pass to Rutherford Beach Louisiana.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue within the warning area across Texas coasts through this morning and start along the Louisiana coast by afternoon.
A tornado or two will be possible today and tonight along the upper Texas Coast and southern Louisiana.
Interests elsewhere in southwestern Louisiana should monitor the progress of Nicholas. For storm information specific to your area, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office - www.weather.gov.
Nicholas made landfall early this morning at ~12:30 a.m. CDT along the Texas coastline on eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula about 10 miles (15 km) west-southwest of Sargent Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h).
At 4 a.m. CDT, the center of now Tropical Storm Nicholas was located inland over Texas about 30 miles (50 km) south-southwest of Houston and about 35 miles (55 km) north-northwest of Freeport. Nicholas is moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph (15 km/h). The storm should move more slowly to the northeast later today and then eastward by Wednesday over Louisiana. Little motion is anticipated on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center. A NOAA station at Galveston Bay, Texas recently reported a 1-minute sustained wind of 54 mph (87 km/h) gusting to 68 mph (109 km/h). Nicholas should weaken further today and is forecast to become a tropical depression by Wednesday.
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:
- Sargent, TX to High Island, TX including Galveston Bay...3-5 ft
- High Island, TX to Rutherford Beach, LA...2-4 ft
- Port Aransas, TX to Sargent, TX...1-3 ft
- Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay...1-3 ft
- Rutherford Beach, LA to Intracoastal City, LA...1-3 ft
- Sabine Lake and Calcasieu Lake...1-3 ft
Nicholas is expected to produce additional rainfall of 5 to 10 inches from the upper Texas coastal area into central to southern Louisiana, far southern Mississippi and far southern Alabama, with isolated storm totals of 20 inches across central to southern Louisiana.
Life-threatening flash flooding impacts, especially in urbanized metropolitan areas, are possible across these regions. Widespread minor to isolated major river flooding is expected across portions of the upper Texas Gulf Coast and southern Louisiana and Mississippi.
For the latest rainfall reports and wind gusts associated with Hurricane Nicholas see the companion storm summary at https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/nfdscc4.html