Tropical Storm Nicholas Path, Update as Texas and Louisiana Brace for Potential Hurricane

Tropical Storm Nicholas has continued its threatening trajectory toward the southeast shoreline of Texas.

That has prompted the National Hurricane Center to issue a storm surge warning and a hurricane watch for a portion of the Texas coast.

Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the annual Atlantic hurricane season, is "continuing to strengthen," with 60mph (97kmh) wind speeds possible, the center added.

The tropical storm is expected to hit the center of the Texas coast at approximately 7pm on Monday, September 13.

Forecasters suggest the extreme weather could further intensify if it shifts to the right of its direction of travel and lingers over water for longer.

An advisory message issued by the government adds: "Hurricane conditions are possible from Port Aransas to Freeport late Monday and Monday night."

That could manifest itself as flooding, feared to approach depths of 5 feet in some areas at high tide.

Isolated areas of the Texas coast could also face up to 20 inches of rainfall through the middle of the week.

And wind speeds reaching 40mph are forecast to batter a stretch of the Gulf Coast, from Brownsville to Lake Charles.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott has urged Gulf Coast communities to "prepare now" for significant rainfall and potential flooding.

Tropical Storm Nicholas
Texas is expected to face flash flooding when Tropical Storm Nicholas hits. NOAA

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in response to the threat of heavy rain and flash flooding.

He added the southwest portion of the state may have compounded problems, as locals continue to recover from Hurricanes Laura and Ida, which hit at the tail end of August and early September, respectively.

Across Louisiana, more than 140,000 customers, more than 6 percent of the state, still lacked power early on Sunday, the Louisiana Public Service Commission has stated.

The devastation wrought by Ida at the start of September inspired Louisiana-born Britney Spears to pen a searing Instagram post about the dangers of climate change.

Met Office Warning

The U.K.'s Met Office forecast of an above-average Atlantic storm season appears to be correct.

The meteorological agency on August 2 forecast a 70 percent chance the number of named tropical storms will be in the range of 12 to 18.

The 1991-2020 long-term average is 14.

Nicolas, the 14th named storm in the Atlantic basin this year, ordinarily wouldn't be expected to arrive for another month.

The Palm Beach Post states September 10 was forecast to be the hurricane season's height, a phenomenon triggered when warm water and low wind help transform tropical waves into deadly storms.

Tropical Storm Nicholas Hurricane
Isolated areas of the Texas coast could also face up to 20 inches of rainfall when Tropical Storm Nicholas hits the coast. National Hurricane Center