Hurricane Nicholas is bringing wind and rain to the Texas Gulf Coast, but most of the impacts should remain south of the Bryan-College Station area, meteorologists projected Monday.
Most of the Brazos Valley was in the “marginal” forecast area for flooding, and forecasters with the National Weather Service projected the area would receive between 1 and 3 inches of rain as the storm moves northeast toward Louisiana.
The worst of the impacts — up to a foot of rain, storm surge and sustained tropical storm force winds — will be contained mostly to the area south of Interstate 10, Katherine Lenninger, a meteorologist in the Houston-Galveston National Weather Service office, said Monday afternoon.
Some outer rain bands of Nicholas could bring heavier downpours, causing some areas to flood, she said.
Shel Winkley, chief meteorologist for KBTX-TV, said he expects the biggest impact for the Brazos Valley will be wind, which could gust up to 40 mph as the storm moves into the area.
Most of the impacts locally should be minimal, he said.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of folks that are disappointed in how close this thing is but how little rain we’re going to actually end up getting from it,” Winkley said, noting the area’s need for rain.
Meteorologists in the National Weather Service’s Houston-Galveston office said Monday afternoon that they expected communities along the Texas Gulf Coast to see 6 to 12 inches of rain, with the potential for flash flooding and urban flooding.
The storm’s track has shifted in both east and west directions, making it more difficult to predict and giving it a wider wind field, the National Weather Service said.
Winkley said winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere and dry air interacting with the storm kept Nicholas from developing into a stronger storm as it moved slowly over warm Gulf Coast waters.
Along the state’s Gulf Coast, school districts canceled school Tuesday due to the storm, which prompted tropical storm warnings for almost the entire Texas coastline. Sam Houston State University in Huntsville also announced Monday its main campus would be closed on Tuesday due to Nicholas.
The storm was approaching hurricane strength late Monday, and the National Hurricane Center projected landfall near Palacios Monday night, following a track inland to the northeast.
The Houston-Galveston National Weather Service meteorologists said Nicholas’ effects could last into Tuesday as the storm slowly moves through the area.
Texas A&M Task Force 1, a College Station-based search and rescue team, said on social media Monday that it had water rescue squads, support personnel and rescue swimmers deployed from Beaumont to Brownsville.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.