The U.S. National Hurricane Center reports that there is still a chance that Tropical Storm Nicholas will be a hurricane when it hits the coast in south central Texas, and it is expected to bring heavy rain and tornadoes through that state and east into Louisiana. .
In their latest report, forecasters at the Hurricane Center said Nicholas is about 225 kilometers south of Port Conner, Texas, with winds of about 95 kilometers per hour. They say the storm is “accidentally moving” off the Texas coast and is on its way to the coast on Monday afternoon or evening.
Data from Air Force reconnaissance aircraft indicated that the center of the storm has improved since the Hurricane Center’s last advisory, but it does not appear to have affected the strengthening of the storm. Nichols continues to move over slightly warmer Gulf waters, and it is possible that the storm will become a hurricane just before landfall.
Category 1 hurricanes have winds of at least 119 kilometers per hour.
Regardless of its position, the storm is expected to bring strong winds, and heavy rain between 20 and 40 cm and up to 50 cm in isolated areas, causing flooding in both rural and urban areas. A deadly storm warning is in effect along the Texas coastline. Surge warnings and watches extend north and east to Louisiana.
Forecasters say Nicolas is likely to weaken quickly once it hits the coast, but hurricane status is expected to persist for at least the next 48 hours.
Some of the information for this report was provided by the Associated Press.