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Nicholas to cause significant flooding while another system gets organized in the Atlantic

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Nicholas just reached hurricane strength, but thankfully could not get itself well organized before it made landfall on the Texas coast south of Houston last night. Still, it brought along a boatload of tropical moisture, which it’s now dumping all along the northern Gulf coast.

The winds are no longer an issue except right at the coast. Now it’s all about the rain. Nicholas’s center of circulation is going to crawl across southeast Texas and move into Louisiana today. But the moisture has spread well to the east. Already tropical downpours that could cause significant flooding are over much of the northern Gulf coast including the areas devastated by Hurricane Ida.

There is concern that debris left over from Ida could exacerbate the flooding because drainage systems could get clogged. All of this in a region that still does not have electricity in a large part of the damage zone. In addition, even before Ida, it was a very wet year in southeastern Louisiana. For whatever reason, Mother Nature doesn’t want to let up on those folks.

Rain from the remnants of Nicholas will hang around into a good part of tomorrow along the northern Gulf coast. Up to 20-inch totals are forecast in some spots. By Thursday, the core of the moisture should be headed toward the East Coast where it might be absorbed into the system that is now Disturbance #1.

East of the Bahamas, Tropical Disturbance #1 is a messy combination of a moisture surge that trekked across the Atlantic and an upper-level low-pressure system. As the pocket of moisture moves north toward the Carolinas, the pattern will become a bit more conducive for the disturbance to develop into at least a tropical depression.

The system is forecast to track over or near the Mid-Atlantic coast, though, as always, specific forecasts for a system that hasn’t formed yet are subject to large changes.

We’ll wait to see exactly how Nicholas’s moisture comes into play, but some parts of the Carolinas or the Mid-Atlantic coast could get significant rain.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Tropical Disturbance #2 is close to developing into a tropical depression, and there’s a decent chance it will become Tropical Storm Odette. It will proceed on a generally troubling track toward the islands, staying far enough south to avoid the dry air and hostile winds to the north.

On the other hand, long-range computer models have consistently shown the development of a very hostile weather pattern over the Atlantic as the system gets near the islands over the weekend. This pattern would either weaken the system significantly or deflect it north – or both.

We never want to count our hostile weather patterns before they hatch, so we’ll keep an eye out to be sure that happens. For now, it will have several days over the warm tropical Atlantic.

Nothing else appears to be in the works this week.


About the Author:

Bryan Norcross is currently a hurricane specialist at Local 10 News, the station where he began his stretch on television in Miami in 1983.