Miami — Tropical Cyclone Nicholas intensified when heading to the Gulf Coast on Sunday, threatening heavy rains and floods in the coastal areas of Texas, Mexico and Louisiana.
A forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said tropical cyclone warnings had been issued to the Texas coast and the northeast coast of Mexico. Nicholas is expected to have total rainfall of 5-10 inches (13-25 centimeters) and maximum rainfall of 15 inches from part of the Texas coast to southwestern Louisiana from Sunday to mid-week. ..
The storm was expected to bring the heaviest rainfall to the west of where Hurricane Aida struck Louisiana two weeks ago. Forecasters didn’t expect Louisiana to be hit by strong winds again, but Yale climate-connected meteorologist Bob Henson said a hurricane knocked down a house, paralyzed electricity and water infrastructure, and killed at least 26 people. Predicted that rainfall could still afflict the area where it was.
“It could rain a few inches in southeastern Louisiana, where Aida struck,” Henson said in an email.
Throughout Louisiana, 140,198 customers (about 6.3% of the state) remained unpowered on Sunday morning, according to the Louisiana Public Services Commission.
The Governor of Louisiana’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Office warned that the storm could divert and urged residents to stay vigilant.
According to Donald Jones, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana, storms can slowly move up the coast and cause heavy rainfall for several days.
“Heavy rain, flash floods seem to be the biggest threat across our region,” he said in an email.
He said the storm could rain as much as 15 to 25 inches (38 to 64 centimeters) in isolated areas in southeastern Texas or southwestern Louisiana.
At 2:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time), the storm was located approximately 180 miles (285 kilometers) northeast of Veracruz, Mexico, and 310 miles (500 kilometers) south-southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande River. Its maximum sustained wind was timed at 40 mph (65 kph) and moved north-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph).
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has rescue teams and emergency medical groups waiting along the length of the Texas Gulf.
“We will continue to closely monitor this storm and take all necessary precautions to keep the Texans safe,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texas are advised to follow the guidance and warnings of local officials and be aware of potential heavy rains and floods.”
Through Twitter, Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said Nicholas was the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Only four years from 1966, there were more than 14 named storms by September 12: 2005, 2011, 2012, 2020.