Tropical Storm Nicholas
Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

Travel Alert September 2021: Landfall of Tropical Storm Nicholas Imminent in Texas

See which airlines have either issued or amended travel waivers as a result of a weather event.

If eastern Texas is in your travel plans over the next couple of days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Tropical Storm Nicholas, whose landfall will occur somewhere along the gulf coast of Texas as soon as during the late afternoon hours of tomorrow, Monday, September 13, 2021 before moving northeast towards southern Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana.

Travel Alert September 2021: Landfall of Tropical Storm Nicholas Imminent in Texas

Tropical Storm Nicholas
Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Tropical Storm Nicholas — which is currently centered approximately 260 miles south southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande and is moving north at two miles per hour — are 40 miles per hour, which means that this storm is classified as a tropical storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Although Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to strengthen as it heads towards the coast of Texas, it is not expected to become a hurricane — even though that possibility is not out of the question; and if Tropical Storm Nicholas becomes a hurricane, it will be minimal and brief — but of as much concern as interests along the coast, the storm is expected to move inland towards areas which have already been aversely affected by previous recent tropical systems and could exacerbate flooding and damage.

Official Warnings and Watches

The following official warning was issued by the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States:

  • A hurricane watch is currently in effect in Texas from Port Aransas to Sargent.
  • A tropical storm warning is currently in effect from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Freeport in Texas; and from Barra el Mezquital to the border which the United States shares with Mexico.
  • A tropical storm watch is currently in effect for Texas from north of Port Aransas to High Island.
  • A storm surge warning is currently in effect for Texas from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass; and for Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay.
  • A storm surge watch is currently in effect for Texas from the mouth of the Rio Grande to High Island.

Total rainfall of between eight and 16 inches — with isolated maximum amounts of as much as 20 inches — is forecast across portions of the middle and upper Texas coastal areas today through the middle of the week. Across the rest of coastal Texas into southwest Louisiana, rainfall of five to 10 inches is expected. This rainfall may produce areas of considerable flash and urban flooding — especially in highly urbanized metropolitan areas. Additionally, there is the potential for isolated minor to moderate river flooding.

Over the northeastern portions of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas rainfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches can be expected today into Monday, September 13, 2021.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas in Texas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

  • Port O’Connor to San Luis Pass including Matagorda Bay…3-5 feet
  • Mouth of the Rio Grande to Port O’Connor…2-4 feet
  • San Luis Pass to High Island including Galveston Bay…2-4 feet
  • Baffin Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, Aransas Bay, and San Antonio Bay…2-4 feet
  • High Island to Intracoastal City including Sabine Lake and Calcasieu Lake..1-3 feet

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore flow, where the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.

Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area in northeastern Mexico and southern Texas Monday morning, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. These conditions will spread northward within the warning area through Monday night. Hurricane conditions are possible in the Hurricane Watch area Monday night. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by late Monday night or early Tuesday.

A tornado or two will be possible through Monday night, September 13, 2021 across the middle and lower Texas coast.

Swells generated by Tropical Storm Nicholas will begin affecting portions of the northwest Gulf Coast later tonight and continue into Tuesday, September 14, 2021. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from eastern Texas over the next couple of days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here is one airline which has issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

Final Boarding Call

Do not be surprised if more travel alerts are issued by more airlines as Tropical Storm Nicholas progresses closer towards landfall somewhere along the gulf coast of Texas.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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