Nicholas reaches hurricane strength, expected to deliver heavy rains to Capital Region
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Nicholas is expected to deliver drenching rains to the WAFB region through the next several days.
As of the 10 p.m. Monday advisory, the center of Nicholas was about 20 miles southeast of Matagorda, Texas, and moving to the north-northeast at 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds were at 75 mph.
A Flash Flood Watch was issued for more than half the state through Thursday at 7 a.m.
Nicolas is expected to make a Texas landfall early Tuesday. With the storm weakening over land before reaching Louisiana, wind impacts will not be a major issue for the WAFB area. However, we need to be prepared for upwards of 5″ to 10″ of rain, with locally higher amounts this week.
Nicholas has been a somewhat ragged and unpredictable tropical storm over the last 12 to 24 hours and at times, it has been difficult to clearly define the center of circulation. While there is some uncertainty regarding Nicholas’ future, the NHC forecast calls for Nicholas to make landfall as a tropical storm along the Texas coast south of Houston and slowly move inland. That scenario shows steady weakening with winds likely falling below tropical-storm strength before it reaches Louisiana.
The main threat from Nicholas continues to be heavy rains, with the NWS Weather Prediction Center’s latest forecast indicating widespread rains of 5″ to 10″ over the next three to four days. For WAFB communities, the bulk of that rain arrives between Tuesday afternoon and Thursday night, with locally higher amounts possible to likely.
Those numbers will certainly result in flooding issues in the area but this will NOT be a repeat of the August 2016 mega-flood. Daily rain amounts will drop off for Friday and into the weekend but the Storm Team continues with scattered-to-likely rains through the weekend and into next week.
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