Tag Archives: Rio Grande

Tropical Storm Nicholas Prompts Hurricane Watch for Texas

A potential threat posed by Tropical Storm Nicholas prompted the issuance of a Hurricane Watch for a portion of the Texas coast on Sunday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located at latitude 22.5°N and longitude 95.5°W which put it about 260 miles (415 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Rio Grande River. Nicholas was moving toward the north at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were’ wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Aransas to Freeport, Texas. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico to High Island Texas. The Tropical Storm Warning included Corpus Christi and Galveston. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from High Island to Sabine Pass, Texas.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Nicholas was poorly organized. There was a broad center of circulation in the middle of Nicholas. Several smaller cyclonic circulations were revolving around inside the broad center. Many of the thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the northern half of Tropical Storm Nicholas. Bands in the southern half of Nicholas consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) in the northeastern quadrant of Tropical Storm Nicholas. The winds in the other parts of Nicholas’ circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Nicholas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move between and upper level low over northern Mexico and an upper level ridge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The upper low and ridge will produce southerly winds that will blow toward the top of Nicholas’ circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. The upper level low will move west and weaken on Monday. The upper level ridge will extend west over Tropical Storm Nicholas. When the ridge extends over Nicholas the upper level winds will weaken. When the upper level winds weaken, the vertical wind shear will decrease. Tropical Storm Nicholas will strengthen when that occurs. If a more well defined center develops in the middle of Nicholas, the it could strengthen more quickly. There is a chance that Nicholas could intensify to a hurricane later on Monday.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move around the western side of a high pressure system that extends over the Gulf of Mexico. The high will steer Nicholas toward the north-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nicholas will approach the coast near the Mouth of the Rio Grande River on Monday. Nicholas will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to coastal areas of northern Mexico and east Texas on Monday. Tropical Storm Nicholas could also cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters) along portions of the coast. It is possible that a new center of circulation could develop closer to the thunderstorms in the northern half of Tropical Storm Nicholas. If a new center develops farther to the north, that could increase the threat to northeastern Texas and western Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Nicholas Forms over Southwest Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Nicholas formed over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located at latitude 20.5°N and longitude 94.8°W which put it about 405 miles (645 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Rio Grande River. Nicholas was moving toward the north-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were’ wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico to Port Aransas, Texas. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Port Aransas to High Island, Texas.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane found sustained winds of tropical storm force in a low pressure system over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Nicholas. The circulation around Tropical Storm Nicholas was still organizing. Thunderstorms began to form near the center of Nicholas. Thunderstorms were also developing in bands revolving around the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) in the northeastern quadrant of Tropical Storm Nicholas. The winds in the other parts of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Nicholas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move between and upper level low over northern Mexico and an upper level ridge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The upper low and ridge will produce south-southwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Nicholas’ circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. The upper level winds are forecast to weaken on Monday and Tropical Storm Nicholas could strengthen more quickly when that occurs. There is a chance that Nicholas could intensify to a hurricane on Monday.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move around the western side of a high pressure system that extends over the Gulf of Mexico. The high will steer Nicholas toward the north-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nicholas will approach the coast near the Mouth of the Rio Grande River on Monday. Nicholas will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to coastal areas of northern Mexico and southern Texas on Monday. Tropical Storm Nicholas could also cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters) along portions of the coast.

Hurricane Hanna Makes Landfall on Padre Island

The center of Hurricane Hanna officially made landfall on Padre Island 15 miles (25 km) north of Port Mansfield, Texas at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday.  At 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Hanna was located at latitude 26.8°N and longitude 97.4°W which put it 15 miles (25 km) north of Port Mansfield, Texas.  Hanna was moving toward the west-southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Mansfield to Port Aransas, Texas.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico to Port Mansfield and from Port Aransas to Port O’Connor, Texas.

Hurricane Hanna strengthened during Saturday and the maximum sustained wind speed at the time of landfall was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h).  The minimum pressure decreased to 973 mb during the day.  A circular eye with a diameter of 35 miles (55 km) developed at the center of circulation.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Hanna.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles from the center of circulation.  A storm surge of up to 6 feet (2 meters) was occurring along the coast of Texas north of where the center made landfall.  There were reports of minor wind damage in Port Mansfield.

Hurricane Hanna will move south of a strengthening high pressure system over the southern U.S.  The high will steer Hanna toward the west-southwest during the next two days.  On its anticipated track the core of Hurricane Hanna will pass north of Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen, Texas.  The center of Hanna will pass near Monterrey, Mexico on Sunday.  Hurricane Hanna will weaken gradually while it moves inland.  Hanna will drop heavy rain over South Texas and northeast Mexico.  Flash floods will likely occur in parts of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.