Tropical Storm Nicole Expected to Intensify Before Making Florida Landfall

Image by the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Nicole to become a Category 1 hurricane near the northwest Bahamas before it makes landfall on Florida's east coast.

Weather conditions will begin to deteriorate in Florida Tuesday night into Wednesday, with tropical-storm-force winds arriving as early as Wednesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The NHC's late morning advisory states that the sprawling storm is around 350 miles northeast of the Bahamas and 460 miles east of West Palm Beach. It strengthened into a tropical storm this morning, with sustained winds of 50 mph.

A hurricane warning is in effect from Boca Raton to the Flagler and Volusia County line. Broward County is currently under a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch, while Miami-Dade County is under a tropical storm watch. 

While the storm's path has shifted slightly north with projected landfall ranging from Palm Beach County to north Florida, the NHC expects storm-related conditions, including gusty winds, flash flooding, and heavy rainfall, will be felt across the majority of eastern Florida.

"Nicole has this broad outer circulation with tropical storm-force winds extending out as much as 380 miles from the center,"  Michael Brennan, the acting deputy director for the NHC, said. "We are going to have very large area of impacts."

Brennan says the storm will move slightly south over the next 12 to 24 hours before turning back to the west as it nears the Florida coast. Nicole will intensify over warm water by the Bahamas, according to the NHC.

The current forecast predicts one to two feet of storm surge for the coast of Miami-Dade County to Hallandale Beach. The coast of Hallandale Beach to North Palm Beach is projected to see two to four feet of storm surge, and the remainder of the Florida coast can expect three to five feet.  

Public schools stretching from Palm Beach County to Brevard County have announced closures beginning Wednesday, November 9.
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 is arriving little more than a month after Hurricane Ian decimated large swaths of Florida's southwest coast and caused historic flooding across the state. More than 100 deaths in Florida have been linked to Ian, and the storm proved to be one of the costliest natural disasters to strike the state in modern history.

Nicole is the 14th named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season, which is due to end on November 30.
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Naomi Feinstein is a fellow at Miami New Times. She spent the last year in New York City getting her master’s degree at the Columbia School of Journalism. She is also a proud alum of the University of Miami.
Contact: Naomi Feinstein

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