Tropical Storm Nicholas, Day 1

Kim Shoemaker
2 min readSep 14, 2021


Photo by me, taken during civil twilight

I wanted to document my first experience of a tropical storm/hurricane; I’ve dodged a few through sheer luck after working in the Houston area sporadically for nearly a decade now.

This time I’m at home, safely with my dogs in an area not impacted by the flooding of Harvey in 2017, although as an aside, I was supposed to be in Houston for business that was rescheduled when I brought up plans I made to view the eclipse.

Last year, I was flying to work in Europe the same day a hurricane was making landfall east of Houston, and my flight left between storms that were spinning off the main system. My closest call at the time.

And thinking about this, I have experienced the storm systems once they hit Europe- a little known fact in the USA is that hurricanes head back across the Atlantic & often go through the North Sea as intense storms. Much weaker than the version that initially hits the USA, but still can be intense with waves over 30ft in height.

Back to today, this seemed to be a surprise storm system that developed very quickly. I received the first notification on Sunday, and which seemed unusual because I would begin to receive storm notifications 3–5 days prior to the storm hitting. This storm developed in the Bay of Campeche, not in the Atlantic where the majority of hurricanes develop. I would like to do some online research to see how common it is for such storms to be form in the southern Gulf of Mexico instead of the Atlantic- please comment if anyone already knows this information or has already checked into it!

I was already grocery shopping when I received notification yesterday, so I didn’t need to stock up on food, water or gasoline for my vehicle. I moved everything inside to avoid any potential projectiles. I won’t be leaving tomorrow unless there’s an emergency requiring such.

I’m considering getting my two dogs rain coats, but I have a very grumpy elderly dog that I think will not cooperate. If anyone has any experience with dog rain coats & tropical storms, I’d love to hear from you if you are willing to share!

The wind has picked up throughout the day, and I can hear pretty strong gusts now. The rain started around 6am & was sporadic throughout the day. No flooding yet in my neighborhood but the creek is up a little & there’s a bit more water than normal in the small retention ponds. Nothing out of the ordinary yet.

I will post an update tomorrow! Hope I can sleep okay.



Kim Shoemaker

Geophysicist every other month; adventurer, hiker, beer drinker during time off. Writing is a hobby needing more consistent practice.