Wednesday 11/9 AM Update:
TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS: are in effect for most Big Bend counties.
This means over the next 48 hours tropical storm conditions will form across our area.
Wednesday morning and afternoon gusts will be around 25-30 MPH.
Gusts up to 40-45 MPH are possible Wednesday night through Thursday evening.
Our biggest impacts will include isolated power outages and localized flooding from rain and minimal storm surge on Thursday morning through Friday morning.
Storm surge of up to 4’ is possible over the next 48 hours.
As of the early morning advisory released by the National Hurricane Center, Nicole remains in Tropical Storm status.
Development was minimal Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.
Max winds are still hovering at 70 MPH around the center of the storm.
Nicole is still expected to become a Category 1 hurricane later Wednesday morning and afternoon.
Landfall is forecast for Wednesday night/early Thursday morning as a weak Category 1 hurricane or strong Tropical Storm near West Palm Beach to Vero Beach.
As of the latest track, Nicole will move up the peninsula and move through the middle of the Big Bend late Thursday night through Friday morning.
TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE:
Nicole is moving west-southwest at 10 mph, with its center is 325 miles east of West Palm Beach. Its highest winds are at 70 mph late Tuesday night.
It is still forecast to reach the Treasure Coast of the eastern Florida peninsula late Wednesday or early Thursday as a category 1 hurricane. After landfall, a rather sharp change in direction to the north, then northeast, is anticipated through Friday.
Tropical Storm watches include many eastern Big Bend counties (from Jefferson County eastward). Watches for the coast and the waters of Apalachee Bay also remain in effect.
A storm surge watch is in effect from Indian Pass eastward along the entire stretch of Big Bend coast. If the center of Nicole moves off the Nature Coast, a minor storm surge can result from a period of onshore winds. Onshore winds will also happen when the circulation of Nicole goes north of the state line area. But leading up to Nicole's approach Wednesday and Thursday, the wind flow will be offshore, keeping the risk of storm surge away during the strongest part of the wind event. During times of onshore wind, a surge of up to four feet above typical dry ground can occur along the Big Bend shores.
The latest forecast path will place the weaker Nicole in the eastern Big Bend region later Thursday, passing to the north into Georgia Friday morning. Before its local arrival, areas of clouds and rain will spread from east to west across several local counties Thursday morning. Rain can be heavy, especially in the I-75 corridor. Rainfall amounts will be manageable, with most areas able to receive up to 2" of rain. Isolated higher amounts can occur in the Suwannee River valley and east from there.
Most areas locally will experience wind speeds around 15-25 mph Wednesday, and 20-30 mph Thursday. Highest wind gusts, closer to the 40-mph tropical storm threshold, will occur in the eastern Big Bend and some I-75 counties in southern Georgia Thursday into Friday morning. Strongest wind gusts will occur in Apalachee Bay waters, where gusts can reach 50 knots.
A limited chance for a spin-up tornado exists Thursday and late Wednesday east of Interstate 75. Tornadoes are not expected to be a widespread hazard for the region.
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE:
Now,Tropical Storm Nicole, strengthens Tuesday afternoon and likely becomes more organized as a southwest shift occurs in the Atlantic.
As of Tuesday morning, Nicole moves through the Atlantic at slow speeds.
As strengthening occurs and wind fields become more uniform, the speed of Nicole increases.
The latest track of Nicole still puts the storm on Florida's Atlantic coast late Wednesday night/ early Thursday morning as a Category 1 hurricane.
As this track takes Nicole onto land and up the peninsula, weakening will occur.
The track still puts the storm mostly to our east.
The more east the track shifts, the less impacts the Big Bend will see.
The Big Bend coastline is under a Tropical Storm Watch at the moment with potential impacts including minor storm surge, low-impact wind, and a few showers and storms.
We will feel the wind as early as Tuesday afternoon with gusts up to 25-30 MPH. This is from a competition of pressure between the low (Nicole) and a high pressure system to our north.
Nicole's wind field moves into our area on Wednesday with shower potential picking up Thursday through Friday.
Again wind gusts and rain amounts will be very dependent on final track, but right now we can expect 1-3" of rain with some tropical storm force winds (especially closer to I-75).
MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE
Still a broad and sloppily formed system, Subtropical Storm Nicole is expected to develop east of the northern Bahamas Tuesday while turning west.
Nicole had highest winds of 45 mph Monday afternoon, about 400 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas while moving northwest at 8 mph.
Of particular note is Nicole's expansive wind field; tropical storm winds extend over 300 miles from the center of the storm.
A series of hurricane, tropical storm, and storm surge watches is up for the Florida east coast. None of them include local Big Bend coastlines or counties.
Nicole is forecast to be a hurricane at landfall along the central to southern coast of the eastern Florida peninsula late Wednesday or early Thursday. While the most intense conditions will be confined to where the center reaches land, the wider stretch of generally gusty winds will have broader-reaching effects for the entire Florida east coast and north into the Carolinas. The onshore wind will bring higher surf and raise the chances for beach erosion and coastal flooding.
Specifically for the Big Bend and southern Georgia regions, low-impact effects are expected with the diminishing system Thursday and Friday, as the center of Nicole is expected to make a sharp turn to the north and northeast by Thursday evening. Local breezes are forecast to be in the 15-30 mph range, with occasional gusts that can top 40 mph in the I-75 counties. The highest wind gusts can rustle leaves, snap some branches, and possibly trigger sporadic power outages.
Wind flow will be primarily offshore for Apalachee Bay. In this case, storm surge and coastal flooding will be of minimal concern.
Areas of cloud cover will be extensive, but rain accumulations will differ, perhaps drastically. Rain tallies in the tri-state region are forecast to be limited, with some western areas getting by without any rain. Eastern sections around the Suwannee River and the I-75 corridor can receive about one inch of rain, with isolated higher amounts possible.
10 AM MONDAY 11/7/22
Nicole maintains as a Subtropical Storm Monday afternoon as movement of this storm shifts to the northwest.
Nicole is moving at northwest at 9 MPH and is 496 miles east of the northwest Bahamas.
The new National Hurricane Center forecast track has the cone of uncertainty still focused on the Atlantic coast of Florida for landfall but is now expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near West Palm Beach Wednesday evening.
Nicole is then expected to weaken over the peninsula before entering the Gulf and making a sharp turn to the northeast to head toward the Big Bend by the end of the week before moving out of our area and into the Carolinas by early to mid weekend.
Hurricane Watches are in effect for the northwest Bahamas, East coast of Florida from Volusia/Brevard county line to Hallandale Beach and Lake Okeechobee.
Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for Altamaha Sound south to the Volusia/ Brevard county line and from Hallandale Beach north to Ocean Reef.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Altamaha Sound to Hallandale Beach.
Impacts to the Big Bend will include heavy, persistent rain at times with gusty wind. Storm surge, minor flooding, and minor wind damage is possible.
Impacts and timing of impacts to our area will change as the track of Nicole does over the next several days. You will be the FIRST TO KNOW as these latest changes occur.
6 AM MONDAY 11/7/22:
Subtropical Storm Nicole formed in the Southwest Atlantic early Monday morning.
The latest track issued by the National Hurricane Center has the cone of uncertainty aimed at the Atlantic coast of Florida by midweek.
This storm is not expected to rapidly intensify, so a tropical storm or low-end hurricane landfall is what the Atlantic Florida coastline is currently expecting.
As Nicole makes its way across the peninsula, further weakening will happen,.
Even as track stays close to a second landfall near the Big Bend after Nicole enters warmer Gulf water, we can expect impacts to be those of a tropical storm.
Impacts will start occurring late Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with this track forecast.
Those impacts will include heavy rain and wind as the current track holds, but of course, we still have a very large cone of uncertainty.
Track confidence will increase later in the week as this storm moves closer to the Atlantic coastline of Florida, but we will keep a close eye on the track throughout the week.
You will be the FIRST TO KNOW of any changes in track and impacts to our area this week.