By Staff

TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) —  The center of tropical storm Nicholas was forecast to make landfall along the central Texas coast later tonight and winds could be near hurricane strength. That according to the National Weather Service.

“Data from NOAA doppler weather radars and an earlier reconnaissance flight indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast this afternoon and evening, and Nicholas could be near hurricane strength when it reaches the central Texas coast,” NOAA said in a statement.

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Weakening is anticipated on Tuesday and Wednesday while Nicholas moves over land.

Officials said Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center.

During the past couple of hours, NOAA buoy 42019 located about 75 miles northeast of the center, reported a sustained wind of 45 mph and a gust to 56 mph.

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The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).

NOAA released the following key messages:

1. Heavy rainfall will impact portions of southeastern Texas, Louisiana, and southern Mississippi through the middle of the week. Significant rainfall amounts are possible, potentially resulting in areas of life-threatening flash and urban flooding, especially in highly urbanized metropolitan areas. Minor to isolated moderate river flooding is also expected, along with isolated major river flooding across smaller river basins and urban areas.

2. There is the danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along the coast of Texas from Port Aransas to Sabine Pass. Residents in these areas should follow any advice given by local officials.

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3. Nicholas is forecast to approach the middle Texas coast as a strong tropical storm this evening, and could be near hurricane intensity at landfall. Tropical storm conditions are expected along portions of the middle and upper Texas coasts this evening and tonight, with hurricane conditions possible from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass. Staff