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 Within Hours 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 likely occur near or between Seadrift and Port O’Connor as soon as during the late afternoon hours of today, Monday, September 13, 2021 before moving northeast towards western Louisiana, southeastern Arkansas, and western Mississippi.

Travel Alert September 2021: Landfall of Tropical Storm Nicholas Within Hours 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 70 miles south southeast of Port Aransas in Texas and is moving north at 12 miles per hour — are 60 miles per hour, which means that this storm is classified as a strong tropical storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Although Tropical Storm Nicholas is not expected to become a hurricane — even though that possibility is still 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 impacted by previous recent tropical systems and could significantly exacerbate flooding and damage in areas such as Gulfport, Lake Charles, Mobile, Jackson, Baton Rouge, Biloxi, and New Orleans.

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 San Luis Pass.
  • A tropical storm warning is currently in effect in Texas from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Sabine Pass.
  • A storm surge warning is currently in effect in Texas from Port Aransas Texas to Sabine Pass; and for Galveston Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay.
  • A storm surge watch is currently in effect from Baffin Bay to Port Aransas in Texas; from Sabine Pass in Texas to Rutherford Beach in Louisiana; and for Corpus Christi Bay.

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.

A tornado or two will be possible through tonight, Monday, 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 tomorrow, 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 are four airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

Final Boarding Call

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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