Tropical Storm Nicholas: Heavy Rain, Potential Tornado Threat to Texas

Tropical Storm Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, is tracking only about 50 miles offshore the Gulf of Mexico as of Monday evening. The center of the storm is currently 65 miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Maximum sustained winds are now 65 mph; however, meteorologists noted that the storm is asymmetrical, resulting in stronger wind gusts on the north and east sides. 

Forecasters predict Nicholas will strengthen more on Monday evening as it makes landfall along the Texas coast. There’s even a chance Nicholas will form as a weak hurricane. 

Nicholas will track very close to Houston after touching down on Monday night. Areas along Texas’s coast from east of Corpus Christi to near Galveston should be on alert for storm surges of up to 3-5 feet and wind gusts of 50-75 mph. Areas more inland may see wind gusts around 45-60 mph. 

Steady rain has been falling in parts of southeast Texas all day Monday. Moderate to heavy rain will continue Monday night. Forecasters also warn isolated tornadoes may occur from southwest Texas through western Louisiana Monday evening into Tuesday. 

The Texas Gulf Coast and southeast Texas will likely see 5-10” of rain, including the Houston metro area. Coastal locations from Matagorda Island to Galveston Bay will see more than 10” of rain. 

Nicholas will most likely weaken into a tropical depression on Tuesday, but rain will still spread across Louisiana, continuing the risk for tornadoes. 

The storm is projected to move to the northeast, away from Louisiana, later Tuesday into Wednesday morning. This means areas of Mississippi and Alabama may see heavy rain and thunderstorms later in the week. 

 

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