At 7 am this morning, Tropical Storm Nicholas was centered near 25.4 N and 26.9 W, or about 40-miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande. Sustained winds were estimated at 60-mph with a barometric pressure of 1001 MB (29.36”). Nicholas was moving north-northwest at 5-mph on a path that should take it inland near Matagorda Bay late tonight or very early tomorrow morning.

TS Nicholas cone
GOES 16 Band 13

Continental US - Clean Longwave Window - IR

Very heavy rains up to 10-15 inches may be expected over the next few days as Nicholas moves northward southwest and west of Houston before turning gradually to the east-northeast over East Texas.

This will put Galveston County on the “dirty”, or east side, of the storm with excessive rains, tropical force wind gusts, potential flooding, and the risk of isolated tornadoes over the coming 2-3 days.

Widespread Heavy Rains Expected

I will provide an update when the 10am Advisory comes in from the National Hurricane Center.

Below is a statement issued by the Houston-Galveston National Weather Service this morning at 6:30 am:

Bottom Line

"Flash flood watch expanded north...now Bellville to Conroe to Cleveland southward. Storm surge 2-5 feet. Storm arrival time has sped up after redevelopment further north overnight."

Overview

"Tropical storm Nicholas has winds near 60 mph centered southeast of Brownsville and has gotten better organized and was wobbling about but should resume a northward track and should continue to strengthen through the day. The track brings it into the Matagorda Bay region this evening most likely with winds near 70 mph - only slightly more strengthening would push it up into a Category 1 Hurricane.

"The system should then track northeastward toward the Houston Metro/Montgomery County region around Tuesday midday then toward the Lake Livingston area in the afternoon. Current projections push it out of the area by Wednesday sunrise. With these strong winds increasing throughout the day and into the evening with landfall will come building seas and rising tides. Storm surge will be on the increase through early Tuesday morning then should slowly subside. Beach erosion, coastal flooding, impacts to commonly flooded areas is likely, in addition strong incoming and outgoing tidal currents as well as very strong rip currents.

"A major impact expected is the flooding. Rainfall rates of 3-4"/hour are likely as bands of rain move into the area and possibly set up over one area for multiple hours mainly south of the I-10 corridor. Street flooding will become more likely as the storm nears the coast and worsen overnight with increased runoff causing rising waters in the bayou system and rivers. A second and lower probability impact is a few weak tornadoes primarily tonight with landfall.

"Conditions should be improving Wednesday across the region though some mainstream rivers will still likely be rising in response to the heavy rainfall.”

Stan Blazyk is a life-long weather enthusiast, long-time Galveston resident and author of "A Century of Galveston Weather." He has written about weather for The Daily News for more than a decade.

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