The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported Monday that Tropical Storm Nicholas is gaining strength over the warm waters of the Gulf Mexco and could come ashore in the southwestern U.S. state of Texas later today. Forecasters said Nicholas was roughly 335 kms south of Port Conner, Texas with winds of about 95 kilometers per hour. They say the storm is forecast to follow a track that will take it along or just offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and south Texas early Monday and move onshore along the coast of south or central Texas later in the day. The forecasters say the storm will likely strengthen and may reach hurricane strength before making landfall somewhere near Port O’Conner, Texas, about 270 kilometers south of Galveston, on the state’s Gulf coast. Regardless of its status, the storm is likely to bring strong winds, and between 20 to 40 centimeters of heavy rain, which is likely to cause flooding in both rural and urban areas. Warnings of life-threatening storm surges all along the Texas coastline are in effect. Surge warnings and watches extend north and east into Louisiana.  The forecasters say Nicholas is likely to weaken quickly once it comes ashore but storm conditions are expected to persist for at least the next 48 hours. Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press.    

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