Tracking the Tropics: 3 disturbances being monitored as Nicholas continues to batter Gulf Coast

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Nicholas weakened from a tropical storm to a depression Wednesday morning and continues to bring heavy rain to southern states as the National Hurricane Center monitors three other disturbances.

Tropical Depression Nicholas

As of 11 a.m. ET, Nicholas is about 30 miles northeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana with 30 mph maximum sustained winds. The storm, now a tropical depression, is moving slowly across Louisiana and is expected to continue weakening.

Despite the weakening in the forecast, the National Weather Service says heavy rainfall will still be a threat across the Gulf Coast region with 3 to 6 additional inches of rainfall forecast in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Isolated storm totals could reach 10 inches and the NWS warns life-threatening flash flooding impacts are possible, especially in urban areas.

Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the Atlantic season, made landfall as a hurricane in Texas on Tuesday.

Other areas to watch

The National Hurricane Center has now focused its attention on three disturbances in the Atlantic basin: two invests and one tropical wave that’s expected to come off the coast of Africa.

The first disturbance is an area of low pressure a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands that’s producing showers and thunderstorms. According to a tropical weather outlook released Wednesday morning, the system is showing signs of organization and environmental conditions are conducive for development. The NHC expects a tropical depression to form within the coming days and the system is forecast to move toward the west, across the tropical Atlantic.

The second disturbance the NHC is watching is a broad area of low pressure that’s producing a large area of disorganized thunderstorms and showers a few hundred miles northeast of the central Bahamas. The NHC also expects this disturbance to become a tropical depression in the coming days as environmental conditions appear “marginally conducive” for development. The system is forecast to move to the north-northwest off the coast of the southeastern United States. Regardless of development, the NHC says the system could bring high surf to parts of the southeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. coast later this week.

The NHC is also keeping an eye on a tropical wave that’s expected to emerge off Africa’s west coast within the next two days. A tropical weather outlook says environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development when the system moves to the west-northwest over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.

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