Weather

Subtropical Storm Nicole Says: "We Ain't Done Yet"

The National Hurricane Center's latest forecast shows Nicole moving onshore in Florida on November 9 as a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm.
The National Hurricane Center's latest forecast shows Nicole moving onshore in Florida on November 9 as a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm. Image by the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
Updated 12:20 p.m. 11/8/2022: Nicole strengthened into a tropical storm on the morning of November 8; updated forecasts also shifted its path somewhat further north than previous models.

Just when Florida thought it could see the light at the end of hurricane season, Mother Nature said: "Not so fast, honey."

Meteorologists are now tracking Subtropical Storm Nicole as it forms over the Atlantic Ocean, centered several hundred miles east of the Bahamas as of early this morning.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) 11 a.m. advisory states that the storm is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane before reaching the Sunshine State midweek, with tropical storm winds estimated to arrive by Wednesday.

A long stretch of Florida's east coast could receive four to six inches of rainfall, from Palm Beach County to the Daytona metropolitan area, according to the NHC advisory. Broward and Miami-Dade counties are forecast to get two to four inches of rain, based upon the current storm track.

Nicole is the 14th named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season, which is due to end on November 30.

Models currently show Nicole touching down somewhere along Florida's east coast, with a wide range of possible locations for landfall. When the storm makes its expected sharp western turn, some models show it heading toward Broward County while others predict a move into central or north Florida. 

Regardless of the storm's precise track, Floridians should expect strong winds, coastal flooding, heavy rain, and rip currents offshore.

"Do not focus on the exact track of Nicole since it is expected to be a large storm with hazards extending well to the north of the center," the NHC advisory states.

Nicole's formation and projected landfall coincide with this Tuesday's full moon, leading some forecasters to predict flooding will get even worse as the moon's gravity raises the tide.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting a dangerous storm surge on the east coast of Florida and portions of coastal Georgia. The peak surge is expected to reach two to four feet from Hallandale Beach to North Palm Beach, and three to five feet along the remainder of Florida's east coast.

As a "subtropical," storm, Nicole is a little different from her tropical storm cousins. According to the National Weather Service, subtropical storms are hybrids of tropical and non-tropical storms, and do not generate as much rain as the former. Subtropical systems can strengthen into tropical systems, however, as Nicole is expected to do.

Quelling fears that Nicole will derail the midterm voting process, forecasters are indicating that the brunt of the storm will move in after the election on Tuesday.

Nicole of course comes a little over a month after the devastating Hurricane Ian, which decimated large swaths of Florida's southwest coast, leaving many without homes or access to their belongings. More than 100 deaths across the state have been linked to Ian, and the storm proved to be one of the costliest natural disasters to strike the state in modern history.

It's still too early to tell how powerful Nicole will be when she reaches the coast, but it may be a safe bet to park somewhere high up and pack your galoshes come Tuesday and Wednesday.
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Joshua Ceballos is staff writer for Miami New Times. He is a Florida International University alum and a born-and-bred Miami boy.
Contact: Joshua Ceballos

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