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."
In all my years of tracking storms, I don't think I have ever seen a larger forecasted area of tropical storm force winds. This is the NHC forecast for Wed at 7 pm. Tropical storm force winds will extend almost 800 miles across! Gusts of at least 40 mph will extend very far out. pic.twitter.com/2Rux0OcpYk— Hurricane Tracker App (@hurrtrackerapp) November 8, 2022
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.
10am Nov 8th - Associated impacts with TS Nicole include life-threatening storm surge flooding, dangerous marine & surf conditions, heavy rainfall, strong winds, & isolated tornadoes. This graphic includes more detail regarding the timing & extent of these projected hazards. pic.twitter.com/gbW7GRgmay— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) November 8, 2022
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.