MIAMI(CBSMiami) - Tropical storm Nicholas gained more strength overnight and by Monday morning was packing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Heavy rain that started to drench the Texas coast on Sunday is still moving through portions of coastal southern and southeastern Texas on Monday.
8" to 16" of rainfall total is forecast for the middle and upper parts of the Texas coast.
Isolated amounts can top almost 2 feet of rain especially in coastal towns like Lake Jackson and Freeport, TX. Heavy rain is expected to continue through midweek
Flash flood watches are now in effect for areas in south-central and southeastern Texas, including the Galveston-Houston area. The flash flood watches also extend into southwest Louisiana from Lake Charles to Alexandria and to Morgan City.
At 11 am Monday, the center of Nicholas was about 140 miles south of Port O'Connor, TX. Hurricane hunters discovered in their morning flight investigation that the center is reforming to the north-northeast of the old center and so this shifted the forecast cone a bit more east of the previous forecast track.
This change will not alter the fact that life-threatening flooding remains the main impact from Nicholas.
The center of Nicholas will track northward and pass just offshore the southern Texas coast then move onshore over the coast of southern or central Texas late Monday afternoon.
Nicholas is forecast to make a turn toward the east-northeast direction on Tuesday. As the turn occurs, the storm will slow down exacerbating the flood threat between southeastern Texas and into parts of Louisiana.
Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to strengthen a bit more and could become a hurricane before making landfall late Monday.
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