Nicholas becomes a hurricane that could stall for a few days over SW LA

Weather

Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to track to the south of the ArkLaTex.  Heavy rain will still be possible over the southern edge of the area.  The rain will likely be heaviest late Tuesday through early Wednesday. There is great uncertainty in the forecast track as Nicholas could stall over SW LA.

Nicholas became a hurricane Monday evening just off the coast of SE TX. The latest forecast models show the storm tracking through SE Texas and eventually moving south of our area into SW LA near Lake Charles and stalling for a few days. This could cause a major flooding event for south Louisiana in the next few days.

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Given the current path that Nicholas is projected to take, the main concern for our area will likely be the potential for heavy rain. We will see a large variation in rainfall across the region.  Rainfall totals over the northern half of the area will probably be less than one inch.  Locations near the I-20 corridor in East Texas and NW Louisiana will likely receive one inch with a few isolated two-inch totals possible.  Deep East Texas and parts of NW Louisiana well south of Interstate 20 will see the heaviest rain.  Totals of two to five inches appear to be the most likely outcome.  A few isolated locations over extreme southern Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes could see five to seven.  Flash flooding could become an issue for these areas. With the uncertainty and the potential stall in the forecast. This outlook could change in the coming day or two.

Other impacts from Nicholas should be minimal.  Tropical storm winds are looking unlikely in our area so power issues will be extremely isolated.  The threat of isolated tornadoes will likely be confined to areas of south Louisiana to the right or south of where Nicholas tracks as you can see by the SPC outlook below.

If Nicholas moves far enough to the east by Thursday, most of the ArkLaTex is looking mainly dry from Thursday and Friday.  Another disturbance approaching from the northwest could increase the chance of rain for the first half of next week.  

–Todd Warren

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