*******Note that forecasts and outlooks in this post are NOT the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). They are my own detailed views on the Atlantic tropics based on current observations and latest computer model runs. As such do not make decisions based on my posts...consult news media...watches and warnings from your local weather office...and any evacuation orders issued by local governments to make the most informed and best decisions. Visit the NHC website hurricanes.gov (hurricanes dot gov) for the latest watches/warnings and official forecasts on active tropical cyclones.**********
...TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 14 2021 11:35 AM EDT...
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Nicholas...taken at 1516Z:
As expected...the wind intensity of Nicholas has gradually declined in the overnight hours as westerly shearing upper winds and land interaction take their toll...and Nicholas lost hurricane strength as of 5 AM EDT. As of 11 AM EDT...maximum sustained winds have declined to 45 mph. Doppler radar shows the center of the storm has made slow progress as the westerly shearing upper winds are pushing Nicholas against the southeastern US surface ridge instead of letting it freely flow around the ridge...and is still driting slowly east toward Galveston Bay. The center will arrive in Galveston Bay shortly.
**The gusty winds are east of the center due to the thunderstorm activity being sheared off by the upper westerly winds in that direction. These winds are currently in the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas of southeast Texas where some isolated wind damage is possible. Because the center of Nicholas is still near the coast...the weakening rate may be slow which could allow gusty winds to arrive to the Lake Charles and Cameron areas of southwestern Louisiana. The onshore push of wind east of the center will continue to contribute to additional coastal sea swells in the southeast corner of Texas and southwestern Louisiana.
**Heavy rainfall with flash flooding potential is an ongoing concern for southeast Texas and across southern Louisiana. The risk is enhanced by Nicholas's slow track which will prolong the rainfall. Based on the lastest radar... the risk for the most widespread flooding is east of Houston and especially for southern Louisiana where the sheared off thunderstorms have arrived well in advance of Nicholas's center... and it will continue to rain for several more hours until Nicholas's center passes. Rainfall is spreading east across southern Mississippi...southwestern Alabama...and the western Florida panhandle. Although Nicholas could be weaker and lose rainfall intensity as it shifts east...incidents of flash flooding cannot be ruled out here. For all in the flood risk zone... be mindful of things that will keep you safe from floodwater... such as avoiding driving into a water-covered roadway to prevent your vehicle from getting stuck which could result in drowning.
The following are observations of wind (mph) generated by Nicholas...as logged by National Weather Service Stations in the region:
**Bay City TX...sustained 18...gust 24...now
**Galveston TX...sustained 41...gust 58...1:52 AM CDT
**Galveston TX...sustained 23...gust 28...now
**Houston TX...sustained 39...gust 58...2:53 AM CDT
**Houston TX...sustained 13...now
**Beaumont TX...sustained 26...gust 45...7:53 AM CDT
**Beaumont TX...sustained 26...gust 38...now
**Lake Charles LA...sustained 15...gust 23...8:53 AM CDT
**Lake Charles LA...sustained 13...now
For more information on Nicholas and the rest of the Atlantic tropics...refer to full update #110 available on the home page of this site.