Nicholas Weaker but Still a Major Flood Threat for Louisiana
Late yesterday I overheard a couple of people talking in the grocery store about how "this tropical storm wasn't a big deal". That's true, the effects of once Hurricane Nicholas could have been a lot worse for Texas and Louisiana. But the fact is, we are not done with Nicholas so let's stop counting chickens until we get all the eggs hatched.
If there is good news concerning now Tropical Depression Nicholas it would be that the system is a lot weaker this morning. It's still pushing out some gusty winds but the wind isn't really the issue with this storm. It's the falling water.
As of early this morning, the center of the depression was basically on the Texas Louisiana border. And that's probably the general area where it will be for the balance of the day. The Hurricane Center has the storm's movement listed as six mph toward the east northeast.
Should that track trend continue the storm's center will pass very near Lake Charles this morning. The good news with that scenario is that most of the rain and convection associated with Nicholas is well away from the center of circulation.
A quick check of the radar scan from Lake Charles will show that the heaviest rainfall is about sixty miles east of the storm's actual location. So that means that much of southwest Louisiana is currently being spared the onslaught of predicted heavy rain.
Flood watches and warnings remain in effect for a large portion of South Louisiana and will stay in effect until later this week depending on how much rain falls over the area today.
The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lake Charles is predicting the area around Lafayette could receive another one to two inches of rainfall over the course of today. Most rain gauges between Lafayette and Lake Charles picked up between two and six inches of rainfall in yesterday's rain events.
Forecasters do suggest rain chances will fall toward the end of the week but will ramp back up in time for Saturday. Meanwhile, in the tropics, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring three different areas for potential development.
Two of those areas show a very high probability of becoming tropical cyclones by the weekend while a third area is showing only a slight probability for strengthening. It's not surprising to find the tropics so busy at this time of year. We are just five days past the climatological peak of the hurricane season. By the way, that season lasts until the end of November.
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