Nicole plans to hit Florida like a hurricane tonight with storm surge, strong winds and torrential rain

  • Hurricane Nicole is expected to make landfall in Florida tonight.
  • Hurricane, storm surge and tropical storm warnings have been issued in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
  • Coastal flooding, high winds, torrential rains and tornadoes are expected along the southeast coast.
  • Torrential rain, high winds and a few tornadoes are possible across the rest of the East Friday through early Saturday.

Nicole is expected to make landfall in Florida as a hurricane, but its impacts, including prolonged coastal flooding, beach erosion, high winds, high waves, heavy rains and tornadoes, will impact other parts of the southeast as well as the mid-Atlantic and the northeast.

Actual status

Nicole made her first landing in the northwest of the Bahamas just before noon Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Nicole’s large wind field means tropical storm-force winds (39 mph or more) extend well to the west, north and east of this center, including into Florida, according to the analysis. from the National Hurricane Center below.

Wind gusts over 40 mph have occurred along and near Florida’s Atlantic coast. A few gusts of over 50 mph were occasionally reported.

Nicole turned into a hurricane Wednesday night as it made landfall in Grand Bahama. A 61mph gust of wind was recorded on the island on Wednesday evening.

(​AFTER: Live updates | Pictures)

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Large pounding waves and coastal flooding are impacting much of the southeast coast. Water levels have peaked about 2 feet above normal along Florida’s Atlantic coast with Wednesday morning high tide.

Flooding was reported around homes on Anastasia Island, near St. Augustine, and on some streets in West palm beach, Wednesday. A seawall was breached by storm surge in St. Lucie County near Jensen Beach. Beach erosion undermined a structure and ate in a hotel parking lot at Daytona Beach Shores.

Storm storm flooding was also captured on video Wednesday morning in Swamp Harborin the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, hit by Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Winds gusted up to 60 mph in Hope Town, according to the Bahamas Meteorology Department.

Minor street flooding was also reported around high tide Wednesday morning in Charleston, South Carolina.

Radar shows rain showers continuing to pour into Florida, with heavier bands of rain in the Bahamas pushing west.

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Warnings and Watches

A hurricane warning is in effect for areas near Florida’s Atlantic coast from Boca Raton to the Flagler – Volusia County line, including Melbourne and Vero Beach. This means that hurricane conditions are expected in these areas tonight through early Thursday morning.

Hurricane warnings are also in effect for parts of the northwestern Bahamas, including Grand Bahama Island, where hurricane conditions are expected tonight.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for a wide area of ​​southern, central and northern Florida, southern Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry. Tropical storm conditions are underway or will develop in these areas by this evening.

Cities in tropical storm warnings include Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa and Tallahassee in Florida as well as Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.

A storm surge warning is in effect from North Palm Beach, Florida to Glynn County, Georgia, a stretch of the St. Johns River in northeast Florida from Georgetown to where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean north of Jacksonville Beach, and along part of the Florida Gulf Coast from Pasco County north to Wakulla County. This means that dangerous and potentially deadly rising sea levels along the coast are expected in these areas.

A storm surge watch extends from northern Glynn County, Georgia to Charleston County, South Carolina, south to North Palm Beach, Florida, to Hallandale Beach, Florida, as well as to Franklin County in the Panhandle. This means that storm surge flooding is possible in these areas.

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Forecast track, intensity

Nicole is expected to make landfall along the Atlantic coast of Florida late tonight or early Thursday morning. However, impacts continue to occur before, during, and for some time after a landing.

Nicole will then curve north near or over Florida before being caught by a cold front that turns the storm northeast over the southeastern states on Friday. Nicole’s remaining energy and moisture will team up with this cold front to wring heavy rains across the East Coast through Saturday.

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Current status, forecast path

(The area shaded in red indicates the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It is important to note that impacts (especially heavy rain, high waves, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone generally spread to the beyond its intended path.)

Expected impacts

Below is a breakdown of what to expect from Nicole. Keep in mind that Nicole’s large size means that her impacts will spread far from her center, arriving sooner and lasting longer than the passage from her center.

Storm surge, coastal flooding, beach erosion

Persistent onshore winds will bring coastal flooding along parts of the southeast coast from Florida to the Carolinas through Thursday, or in some areas Friday.

This high tide coastal flooding will increase daily and peak with the storm surge approaching central Nicole early Thursday morning. The National Hurricane Center’s maximum storm surge forecast, if it occurs at high tide, is shown below.

With coastal flooding over multiple high tide cycles and pounding waves overlapping the storm surge, major beach erosion and infrastructure damage is expected along Florida’s east coast and parts of the coast. Georgian. This is particularly the case for Florida’s east coast damaged by Hurricane Ian end of September.

Some moderate to major coastal flooding is also possible as far north as South Carolina, including Charleston, where coastal flooding is expected to peak with Thursday’s mid-morning high tide. Widespread street flooding is possible in the city during this highest storm surge.

An exception to this general scenario will be part of the western Gulf Coast of Florida.

Tides will start much lower than normal due to offshore winds.

But later Thursday, water levels can rise quickly as the winds shift landward once Nicole’s center shifts north. This could lead to coastal flooding and storm surge in the areas shown on the map below, peaking Thursday evening but also persisting Friday.

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(Maximum storm surge forecast from NHC if storm surge arrives at high tide.)

Winds

Storm-force tropical winds (winds of 39 mph or greater) will continue to spread across much of the Florida peninsula this evening through Thursday.

Hurricane conditions (74 mph or stronger winds) are expected to arrive this evening in the hurricane warning area in eastern Florida.

These strong winds are expected to knock out power and bring down trees, especially near the coast.

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(This map illustrates the timing and potential overhead extent of tropical storm-force winds. Although some areas may experience hurricane-force winds, the onset of tropical-storm-force winds will make storm preparations more difficult.)

Although Nicole has weakened, strong gusts of wind are possible in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia on Friday.

The remnant of Nicole combining with a cold front and stronger jet stream energy could produce strong gusty winds from Friday evening to Saturday morning in the northeast, Delmarva Peninsula and Bay of Chesapeake north of New England, especially near the coast.

These gusty winds could lead to scattered damage to trees and at least a few power outages Friday through Saturday.

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precipitation

The heaviest rains will arrive in Florida first, then are expected to spread north into parts of Georgia and the Carolinas Thursday through Friday.

The heaviest precipitation totals are expected in parts of central and northern Florida, including some areas inundated by rainfall from Hurricane Ian.

Parts of the St. Johns River are still above flood stage after Ian’s rain about six weeks ago. According to the NWS, the slow decline of the St. Johns River over the past few weeks after Ian will change to a slow rise and then to steady levels above flood stage after the Nicole rain.

A few minor floods are also expected along the sections of the Peace and little manatee West Florida’s rivers, which suffered major flooding to record during Ian. But this flood will be far from the magnitude of Ian’s flood.

Nicole’s moisture in combination with an approaching cold front will bring heavy rain to Appalachia, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast Friday through Saturday.

A wide footprint of 1 to 5 inches of rain is possible from parts of southern Florida into the Carolinas, Georgia, mid-Atlantic and northeast, with locally higher amounts.

This could lead to localized flash flooding and some riverine flooding, particularly in Appalachia and the adjacent foothills, as well as parts of the northeast.

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Tornadoes

As with most storms that make landfall, some isolated tornadoes and damaging thunderstorm wind gusts are also possible in Nicole’s rainfall bands Wednesday through Friday.

Here is an overview of the timing.

– Wednesday-Wednesday evenings: East and Central Florida

-Thursday-Thursday nights: Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia, Central and Coastal South Carolina, and Southern North Carolina.

-Friday-Friday evening: central and eastern Carolinas to the mid-Atlantic.

N​icole could only become the the November 4 hurricane made landfall in the continental United States in documents dating to the mid-19th century, and the first to do so in 37 years.

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Check back with us at weather.com for important updates on Nicole.

The primary journalistic mission of The Weather Company is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science in our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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