Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Storm Nicholas is getting better organized as it moves closer to the central Texas Coast. The center circulation has been jumping around, and this is making it difficult to pinpoint landfall and the forecast track timing. Right now, Nicholas is expected to make landfall this evening near Port O’Connor, TX as a strong tropical storm or possible Cat. 1 hurricane. It is battling winds shear, so it will not get too strong.
Nicholas will turn north and then northeast around a subtropical ridge of high pressure once it is inland. However, the forecast models are NOT in good agreement of when it will turn NE. The GFS (American) model seems to have the best handle on the reformation of the center of the storm. Nicholas will spread heavy rain from the SE Texas Coast all the way across southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and across central and southern Alabama through the week.
The forecast models are also not in total agreement with how much rain will build into central Alabama yet. Right now, expect Wednesday to be cloudy with numerous showers and thunderstorms. Some of the rain could be heavy at times, but it looks like the heaviest could be south of Birmingham or near Montgomery to the coast. However, this could change if Nicholas tracks farther north. We will keep an eye on this.
Thursday and Friday will have more rain thunderstorms. Some of the rain could be heavy at times. Rain totals between Wednesday and Friday could be around 2-4 inches across central Alabama. This could lead to minor flooding issues along streams, creeks, and rivers.
A strong tropical wave will emerge off the west coast of Africa later today. Conditions are favorable for development once it is over water, and a tropical depression could form later this week as it moves west across the eastern Atlantic Ocean. NHC is giving this system a medium chance to develop.
There is an area of low pressure forecast to form mid-week just north of the central Bahamas as a tropical wave interacts with a trough of low pressure. Some development of this system is possible, and a tropical depression could form later this week as the system moves north across the western Atlantic.
Elsewhere…the rest of the tropics are quiet.
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