Hurricane Warning Issued In Florida as Nicole becomes Tropical Storm
November 8, 2022
Source: The Weather Channel
Tropical Storm Nicole is forecast to make landfall in Florida as a hurricane or a strong tropical storm, but its impacts including prolonged coastal flooding, beach erosion, strong winds, high surf, rip currents and heavy rain will encompass a much larger area of the Southeast.
Nicole is centered several hundred miles east of the Bahamas and is tracking westward.
Nicole has a large wind field, which means impacts will be felt across a broad part of the Southeast coast far away from where its center tracks.
Warnings And Watches
A hurricane warning has been issued for areas near Florida’s Atlantic coast from Boca Raton to the Flagler – Volusia County line, and remains in effect for the northwest Bahamas, including Grand Bahama Island. This means hurricane conditions are expected in these areas.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect south of Boca Raton to Hallandale Beach, Florida, and north of the Space Coast to Glynn County, Georgia, and extend inland in eastern Florida to include the Orlando metro area, where tropical storm conditions are expected. Tropical storm warnings are also in effect for Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera Islands in the Bahamas.
In addition to the tropical storm warning, a hurricane watch remains in effect for eastern Florida north of the Space Coast to Ponte Vedra Beach and south of Boca Raton to Hallandale Beach, including Lake Okeechobee. That means hurricane conditions are possible in this areas.
Tropical storm watches extend along part of Florida’s Gulf Coast, from Bonita Beach to the mouth of the Ochlockonee River, and extend inland to include Tampa-St. Petersburg and Ft. Myers. This means tropical storm conditions are possible in these areas.
A storm surge warning is also in effect from North Palm Beach, Florida, to Glynn County, Georgia, as well as a stretch of the St. Johns River in northeast Florida from Georgetown to where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean north of Jacksonville Beach. This means a dangerous, life-threatening surge of water along the coast is expected in these areas.
A storm surge watch extends north of Glynn County, Georgia, to the Georgia – South Carolina border, south of North Palm Beach to Hallandale Beach, and also along a part of western Florida’s Gulf Coast from Pasco County to Levy County. This means inundation from storm surge is possible in these areas.
Forecast Track, Intensity
Nicole made its turn and will continue its general westward track toward the Bahamas and Florida.
Nicole may become a Category 1 hurricane at any time near the northwest Bahamas or prior to landfall on Florida’s Atlantic coast sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. However, impacts will arrive well before that happens, as we’ll detail below.
Nicole will then curl north near or over Florida before getting picked up by a cold front that turns the storm northeastward over the Southeast states on Friday. The remnant energy and moisture from Nicole will team up with that cold front to wring out heavy rain up the East Coast into Saturday.
Below is a breakdown of what to expect from Nicole. Keep in mind that Nicole’s large size means its impacts will spread far from its center, arriving sooner than, and lasting longer than, the passage of its center.
Storm Surge, Coastal Flood, Beach Erosion
Persistent onshore winds well ahead of Nicole’s center will lead to coastal flooding along parts of the Southeast coast from Florida to the Carolinas through Thursday, or in some areas, Friday.
This coastal flooding at high tide will increase each day and peak as storm surge as the center of Nicole approaches early Thursday morning. The National Hurricane Center’s peak storm surge forecast, if it occurs at high tide, is shown below.
Given coastal flooding over multiple high tide cycles and battering waves riding atop the storm surge, major beach erosion and some damage to infrastructure is expected along Florida’s east coast and parts of the Georgia coast. This is particularly the case for eastern Florida’s coast damaged from Hurricane Ian in late September, as the NWS office in Melbourne, Florida, noted.
Some moderate to major coastal flooding is also possible as far north as the Carolinas, including Charleston, South Carolina, and Tybee Island, Georgia.
One exception to this general scenario will be a part of western Florida’s Gulf Coast. Tides will start out much lower than normal due to winds blowing offshore. But by later Thursday, water levels may quickly rise as winds switch onshore once Nicole’s center moves to the north. This may lead to some coastal flooding and storm surge in the areas shown in the map below peaking Thursday night, but possibly lingering into Friday.
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