1. A hurricane watch has been issued for Tropical Storm Nicole
Tropical storm Nicole is currently migrating on a southwestern track across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Bahamas and Florida. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is forecasting Nicole to make landfall in Florida around 1 a.m. EST on Thursday. As of Tuesday, November 8 at 10 a.m. EST, Nicole is a tropical storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of 50 mph. Meteorologists expect Nicole to strengthen into a hurricane near the Bahamas and then maintain hurricane strength up until landfall in eastern Florida. The storm is expected to bring storm surge to the east coast of Florida.
Figure 1: Tropical Storm Nicole forecasted track and strength through Saturday (NHC 10 a.m. EST Advisory 6)
2. Counties with the highest losses from Hurricane Ian are spared from the path of Nicole
Due to the western coast path of the storm, Tropical Storm Nicole is projected to impact counties where modeled losses are only between $1 million to $100 million from Hurricane Ian. Almost all counties with modeled losses of more than $100 million from Hurricane Ian are located on Florida’s Gulf Coast and away from Nicole’s track.
3. Storm surge and heavy rainfall is expected on the East Coast
Figure 2: Tropical Storm Nicole Storm Surge Forecast (NHC 10AM EST Advisory 6).
Although Nicole is expected to make landfall as a low-level Category 1 hurricane, Nicole is still creating a very large wind field north of the circulation center that will generate a larger than usual storm surge for a storm of this size. The east coast of Florida and portions of coastal Georgia are expected to receive storm surge with enough height to cause property damage. Water levels in east Florida could reach up to 5 feet across most of the coastline. Nicole will also bring heavy rainfall with flash, urban and stream flooding possible across Florida and potentially southeast Georgia and portions of South Carolina. Wind speeds could reach up to 50-60 mph as the storm moves into Florida Thursday morning. Some areas of the coastline could receive up to six inches of precipitation.