Weather: Nicholas’ erratic behavior makes forecasting difficult


I also wanted to let you know where the hurricane season is now, now that we’ve officially hit the peak of the season, and it looks like the second half shows no signs of slowing down.

It’s also a reminder that it doesn’t take a “big” storm to have a major impact.

Nicholas could be one of those storms. Just a few weeks ago, the northeast received extreme rains – and it was just Ida’s remains.

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Nicolas’ center continues to move

When storms like Nicholas don’t pull themselves together and organize themselves, it becomes difficult to find the center of circulation in the storm.

With this storm, it was even more difficult. The center keeps crumbling and reforming, sometimes 90-100 miles from its last position. This makes it all the more difficult to predict where the storm will make landfall – and where it could do the most damage.

Earlier this morning, the center of the storm emerged more than 160 km from its previous location. And again, with the 11am ET warning, it seemed to collapse in one place and reform in a new place.

“The previous pattern near the wall of the eye dissipated a few hours ago and has been replaced by what appears to be an ongoing reform of a new center about 90 miles north-northeast of the ‘old center,’ said the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane hunters are currently on their way to investigate the storm. But with Nicholas appearing to move closer to shore with each new center formation, there will inevitably be an earlier landing.

Still, there might be a small window of time for Nicholas to get stronger.

“Reinforcement is still expected until touchdown as Nicholas continues to move over slightly warmer Gulf waters,” the hurricane center said. “It’s possible Nicholas could turn into a hurricane just before it made landfall.”

Nicholas is a tropical storm at 60 mph and is moving north at 12 mph. The speed has increased a bit since this morning. However, the storm is still expected to move very slowly over the next few days.

It means one thing: FLOOD.

20 inches of rain is not out of the question

“Nicholas is expected to produce total storm precipitation of 8 to 16 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, over parts of coastal areas of mid and upper Texas through the middle of the week,” the center said. hurricanes.

Yes, you read that right: we could see FEET of rain from this storm.

And a lot of that rain could fall in a very, very short period of time. Potentially 3 to 4 inches per hour could fall during the storm’s peak.

This means you need to be extra vigilant in case a flood watch is issued for your area. The length of time that it rains is a huge factor in the severity of flooding, but it is quite possible that some areas will experience a lot of rain in a short period of time which will lead to flash floods.

Parts of Louisiana might also see high water. “Throughout the rest of the Texas coast to southwest Louisiana, precipitation of 5 to 10 inches is expected. This precipitation can produce areas of severe flash flooding and urban flooding, particularly in very heavy metropolitan areas. urbanized, ”the hurricane center said.

It is certainly possible that some areas affected by Ida will receive additional rains from Nicholas. South-central and southeastern Louisiana could receive up to 4 to 6 inches of rain over the next three days as Nicholas slowly slides along the Texas coast and heads towards Louisiana.

It’s hard to know at this point where the worst of the rain will set in. We know that this area is the highlighted region where the most rain is likely to fall.

Twenty inches of rain could have huge implications, especially if it only falls in a day or two. We saw what happened in New York two weeks ago with 8 inches of rain in less than a day. Of course, New York and the Texas coastline are not apples and apples.

Now parts of the coast, including the Houston suburbs, are at high risk of flooding. This is the same level of flood threat that was issued in the northeast before the catastrophic flooding from Ida’s remains.

In determining how much rain a certain area can withstand, there are many factors you need to consider. On the one hand, urbanization plays a huge role. If the majority of the rain falls in Houston, we could see more implications than if the water fell along the coastal areas.

Topography also plays a role. Because the Texas coast is relatively flat, the area can hold more water. But FEET of rain flooding an area means the potential for life-threatening flooding will be real with Nicholas.


The reason for the potential for flooding is that Nicholas is moving so slowly. A slow thunderstorm will produce larger amounts of rain. We saw it with Harvey in 2017 in Texas. And the climate crisis has shown us that storms will be slower and wetter in this warmer world we live in.

So far, it doesn’t look like a Harvey event, but forecasts show a significant flash flood threat that needs to be taken seriously. Harvey dumped extensive 20-inch amounts of rain – with isolated amounts of over 40 inches – in southeast Texas.

Storm surge and tornadoes

In addition to the excessive precipitation, we will see storm surges. Parts of the Texas coast could experience a 3 to 5 foot storm surge. Galveston Bay could grow to 2 to 4 feet. As Nicholas moves so slowly, we could see the storm surge last for several high tide cycles, only making the flooding worse.

Tornadoes will remain a threat for the next few days because of Nicholas. It is very common to see tornadoes with tropical systems. The most threatened areas will be all along the coast, from Galveston Bay to Corpus Christi.

Preparing for a flash flood? What to do?

The best way to prepare for a flash flood is to know if you are in a flood area. You need to stay informed about the rivers and streams that are near you and the flood levels. More people die in floods than in tornadoes and hurricanes.

Two in three people who die in floods die in their cars. It is extremely important not to be on the roads during a flood. Most people get alerts on their phones in the event of a flash flood emergency. Make sure you can receive alerts.

  • CellphoneWireless emergency alerts are one of the best ways to receive warnings anytime, anywhere. On an IOS device go to settings, then notifications, and scroll down. Make sure Emergency Alerts – listed under Government Alerts – are turned on. If you are using a third-party app, make sure the alerts are issued in a timely manner. Most importantly, turn on these notifications.

Water can rise quickly in a flash flood; make sure you are not in your car when this happens.

If a flash flood warning is issued for your area, get to the heights as soon as possible. Do not wade through flood waters. It could be contaminated or electrically charged. In addition, never drive on flooded roads. It only takes 2 feet of water to wash most cars including SUVs and pickup trucks.

Where are we in this hurricane season

We have 14 named storms in the season right now, and we still have just under half of the season left.

“I expect the rest of the season to be pretty busy,” said Phil Klotzbach, a researcher at Colorado State University.

Forecast models suggest that we are moving towards a La Niña model, which means a more active hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin.

“This type of scenario generally improves conditions for a rugged low-level gyre in the Caribbean that typically causes end-of-season storms. We saw this scenario on steroids last year. Hopefully we don’t have one. another October-November like we had last year, but I think the grand scale should favor another active end of the season, “Klotzbach said.

Just because we are past the “peak” of hurricane season does not mean that storms will be on the decline. We were able to witness equally strong and hard-hitting storms in the second half of the season.

The hurricane center is also monitoring two other areas for possible development. An area of ​​low pressure is expected to form north of the southeastern Bahamas this week and move northwest toward the eastern United States. This has a 50% chance of developing over the next five days, according to the hurricane center. Areas ranging from the Outer Banks to the mid-Atlantic need to closely monitor this for development.

The other area is a tropical wave off the African coast. It has an 80% chance of developing over the next five days as it moves west over the open tropical Atlantic. It will be something to watch closely at the start of next week.


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