Date: 2021-09-12 18:00:00
HOUSTON, TX — Tropical Storm Nicholas has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and is expected to have an impact along the Texas coast and the Houston area, according to the National Hurricane Center.
A disorganized storm system moved over the Yucatán Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. It rapidly strengthened into a tropical storm by Sunday morning, and in its 10 a.m. update, NHC issued a tropical storm warning along the Texas coast from the Rio Grande River to Port Aransas. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the stretch of the coast from Port Aransas to High Island, which is just southeast of Houston. A storm surge watch is in effect for that entire area, were storm surge of 2 to 4 feet is expected, including in Matagorda and Galveston Bays.
Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the southern Texas coast by Monday and is forecast to continue to move toward the middle and upper coast. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the middle and upper Texas coast and the Houston area beginning late Monday and through Tuesday.
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According to the National Weather Service Houston, rainfall totals between 5 and 10 inches are expected, but it could reach up to 15 inches in some places, especially near the coast.
NWS Houston meteorologist Dan Reilly said that flash flooding is the biggest concern in the Houston area. A flash flood watch has been issued for several counties in southeast Texas, including Harris and Galveston Counties. According to NWS Houston, the flash flood threat is expected to begin Sunday night and continue through at least Tuesday.
“We can’t rule out the possibility of a Category 1 hurricane as was discussed yesterday, but right now it’s more likely [going to be] a strong tropical storm as it makes landfall,” Reilly said in a video update. “We’re going to have to watch this the next few days, there is a good chance of it to strengthen.”