Hurricane Nicholas


Tropical Storm Nicholas approached the gulf coast of southeast Texas on the evening of Sep. 13, 2021. The system briefly intensified just before landfall to a CAT 1 Hurricane as indicated by an 83 kt gust reported at a WeatherFlow station at Matagorda Bay, Texas.  Landfall was reported around 12:30 am Sep. 14, 2021 just northeast of Galveston, TX. Flood and power outages risks are widespread, as the event is continuing to unfold across southeast Texas and southern Louisiana.

Model Performance Discussion

  • Tropical Storm Nicholas formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on the 12th of September and became the 14th named Atlantic storm in 2021.
  • Models and NHC forecast the storm approaching
  • Between 03Z Sep. 13 and 03Z Sep. 14, Nicholas intensified by 35 mph which is considered “rapid intensification” by the National Hurricane Center.
  • Hurricane Nicholas was the first hurricane landfall in the month of September in 13 years.
  • Initial tracks from NHC show Nicholas brushing along the coastal border of Texas/Mexico the evening of Sep. 13
  • Early forecasts from models and NHC were consistent for landfall along the Texas Gulf coast around the Galveston, TX area - a well-forecasted system.
  • Our wind gust modeling analysis/forecast did an excellent job of forecasting the area/speed of gusts.
  • Monarch’s forecast from Sep. 13 00Z captured the entire area of tropical storm wind gusts across Texas and Louisiana close to 36 hours before landfall.

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