Tropical Storm Nicholas Forming in Gulf of Mexico May Cause Major Rainfall of More Than a Foot in Texas

by Josh Lanier

The Gulf Coast is bracing for another major storm that meteorologists expect to make landfall this week. And Tropical Storm Nicholas will bring heavy rains that could cause floods in Texas.

Meteorologists estimate that Nicholas will slam into the Texas coast sometime late Monday night. Experts expect it to continue through the state after that. CNN says that parts of Texas will get as much as 10 inches of rain. Some localized areas may get as much as 15 inches. Flash flood warnings are in effect for southwest Louisiana to all of coastal Texas.

“On the forecast track, the center of Nicholas will pass near or just offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas late Monday, and approach the south or central Texas coast Monday night or early Tuesday,” said Daniel Brown, National Hurricane Center specialist.

Along with rains, the storm is churning up the Gulf of Mexico. Meteorologists say Nicholas will cause storm surges of 2 to 4-feet high in parts of the coast. The storm currently only has winds of around 30 mph. But that is expected to increase to 65 mph by Tuesday morning as the tropical storm moves through warmer waters.

“With the exact tract of Nicholas still uncertain, we still have a possibility of further strengthening if this storm stays offshore further northward,” says CNN meteorologist Tom Sater. “Nicholas will be entering some of the warmest waters of the Gulf.”

Nicholas Part of a Busy Tropical Storm Season

This has been a busy hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean. Nicholas is the 14th named storm this season. Generally, the 14th named storm doesn’t happen until late October, the NHC said. And the storms are coming so quickly that much of the damage from previous storms are still littering large parts of the country.

Hurricane Ida dumped tons of rain on the Gulf Coast last month and cut a swath of destruction through the United States. The storm killed dozens of people, many in New York and New Jersey where record rainfalls overwhelmed sewers and rivers and trapped people inside.

Thousands in Louisiana are still without power two weeks after Ida first made landfall.

Hurricane Larry brought heavy rains to the Northeast and caused large ocean swells up and down the Eastern seaboard. The United States missed most of the worst of Larry as it remained in the ocean. It’s now battering Greenland and Newfoundland with several inches of rain.

Hurricane season won’t end until November, and meteorologists expect a very active season. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center estimates that we could see as many as 21 named storms this hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean.

“A mix of competing oceanic and atmospheric conditions generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, including the potential return of La Nina in the months ahead,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for the center.