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Tropical Storm Nicholas Forms: What This Means for Houston

Updated: Jun 13, 2022

12:00 AM, September 13th, 2021

Tropical Storm Nicholas has recently formed as a weak area of thunderstorm activity in the Southwest Gulf of Mexico. Currently, the forecast is not certain, but here are the key things to look out for

Key Factors

The path and intensity of Nicholas are highly correlated due to its track. If the storm is even a few miles more East at any given point of time, the time of its landfall will be much later due to the shape of the Texas coastline. More time over water means a stronger storm, even despite current shear out of the Southwest hindering Nicholas at the moment. Since Nicholas has yet to develop a strong closed circulation, the location of its center will be integral to its path and strength. Keep an eye out for NHC updates as we get more satellite imagery of Nicholas as it intensifies.

Model Discrepancies

As of the 12Z Sunday runs, there is no model consensus of strength or track for Nicholas. The Euro and Canadian models predict a weaker and more West track, which could produce more rain for the Houston area. However, this would be less of a wind threat. The GFS model is predicting a stronger and more East track.






Potential Impacts

Nicholas will primarily be a rain threat, as it is not forecast to undergo rapid intensification due to unfavorable conditions. This means it is unlikely Nicholas will reach hurricane status before landfall, so storm surge and high winds will be minimal, but coastal areas still need to take proper precautions. Expect up to fifteen inches of rain in concentrated areas and five inches of rain across the Houston area. Flash Flooding will be a threat throughout the storm, so avoid driving Tuesday and Wednesday.

Timing

In the Houston area, effects will be seen starting as soon as Monday morning, and will continue into Wednesday.




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