FIRST ALERT: Nicholas makes landfall as a hurricane, watching other areas in the Atlantic
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Nicholas made landfall as a category one hurricane overnight with winds of 75 mph on the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula, about 10 miles west-southwest of Sargent Beach, Texas.
Now, Nicholas has weakened to a tropical storm and will continue to bring heavy rainfall and widespread flooding issues across southeastern Texas and Louisiana.
At 5 AM, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located near latitude 29.3 North, longitude 95.6 West. Nicholas is moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph. The storm should move more slowly to the northeast later today and then eastward by Wednesday over Louisiana. Little motion is anticipated on Thursday. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph with higher gusts.
Nicholas should weaken further today and is forecast to become a tropical depression by Wednesday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center. A NOAA station at Galveston Bay, Texas recently reported a 1-minute sustained wind of 54 mph gusting to 68 mph.
Nicholas is expected to produce additional rainfall of 5 to 10 inches from the upper Texas coastal area into central to southern Louisiana, far southern Mississippi and far southern Alabama, with isolated storm totals of 20 inches across central to southern Louisiana. Life-threatening flash flooding impacts, especially in urbanized metropolitan areas, are possible across these regions. Widespread minor to isolated major river flooding is expected across portions of the upper Texas Gulf Coast and southern Louisiana and Mississippi.
ELSEWHERE IN THE TROPICS
A tropical wave located just west of the African coast is producing a large area of showers and thunderstorms that are showing signs of organization. Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for gradual development of this disturbance over the next several days, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days while the system moves westward at about 15 mph across the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. The chance of development remains high at 70% over the next 48 hours and 90% over the next five days.
An area of low pressure is expected to form by midweek a couple of hundred miles north of the southeastern or central Bahamas as a tropical wave interacts with an upper-level trough. Some gradual development of this system is forecast thereafter, and a tropical depression could form later this week while the system moves north-northwestward or northward across the western Atlantic. The chance of development continues at 60%.
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