In anticipation of Nicole impacting Florida's Big Bend and southern Georgia, a First to Know Weather Day has been established for Thursday.
According to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, most local counties in the region are under a Tropical Storm Warning, meaning tropical-storm-force wind gusts are likely within 36 hours.
The coastlines of Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties are under a Storm Surge Warning. A peak of 2-4 feet of water above typical dry ground is possible in the warned area. A storm surge watch is in effect for the Franklin County coast and barrier islands.
Nicole — which strengthened into a hurricane Wednesday evening in the western Atlantic Ocean — made landfall on Great Abaco Island in the northwestern Bahamas and is moving west through Grand Bahama Island Wednesday evening.
The storm is projected to make landfall as a hurricane in eastern Florida along the Treasure Coast between Vero Beach and West Palm Beach. It is expected to move northwest and weaken, crossing the northern Florida peninsula and head towards the Big Bend region.
Wednesday afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in an executive order expanded additional state of emergency status for Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hernando, Jefferson, Levy, Marion, Pinellas, Taylor and Wakulla counties.