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In Anticipation of Hurricane Nicole’s Possible Turn Toward the State, Florida Has Taken Precautions!

The National Hurricane Center said on Monday that Subtropical Storm Nicole could hit Florida’s east coast as a Category 1 hurricane late Wednesday or early Thursday, from the line between Brevard and Volusia counties south to Hallandale Beach.

At 10 p.m. EST, the Hurricane Center said that Subtropical Storm Nicole was about 415 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas and moving northwest at 8 mph. It had sustained winds of 45 mph, with gusts even higher.

The NHC Said

The NHC said, “A turn toward the west or west-southwest is expected to start on Tuesday and last until early Thursday morning.” “According to the forecast, the center of Nicole will get close to the northwestern Bahamas on Tuesday and Tuesday night, move close to or over those islands on Wednesday, and get close to the east coast of Florida on Wednesday night.

“By Wednesday or Wednesday night, Nicole is expected to be close to or at hurricane strength as it moves near or over the northwest Bahamas.”

In addition to the hurricane watch that was already out, the NHC issued a tropical storm warning at 10 p.m. for the area from Hallandale Beach in Florida all the way up the east coast of Florida to Altamaha Sound in Georgia.

Nicole is expected to become a hurricane in the next 48 hours, but at 10 p.m., the hurricane center said there was a lot of uncertainty about how strong the storm would be.

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Forecasters say that it will take some time for the cyclone to start getting stronger because of Nicole’s large size and the dry mid-level air nearby. “It is expected, though, that the system will start to form an inner core within 24 hours and be close to or at hurricane strength by the time it gets to the northwest Bahamas and the Florida peninsula.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency for all of Central Florida and the 34 counties that could be in the path of the storm.

In a Press Release, Desantis Said

In a press release, DeSantis said, “At this point, it doesn’t look like this storm will get much stronger. However, I urge all Floridians to be ready and listen to what local emergency management officials say.” “As this storm moves toward Florida, we will keep an eye on where it is going and how strong it is.”

Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie

Inland Brevard County was also put under a hurricane watch by the National Weather Service in Melbourne. Inland Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Polk, Sumter, and Marion counties are under a tropical storm watch.

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“…[Nicole’s] effects are likely to be felt across east central Florida, no matter where it goes or how strong it gets,” the NWS Melbourne office said in its weather discussion. “Preparations need to be done before Wednesday because things will get worse quickly in the afternoon.

Make sure you know what the latest forecast is and if there are any Watches or Warnings. People who are still dealing with the terrible effects of Hurricane Ian are especially urged to get ready and keep an eye on the forecast.

The five-day forecast shows that it could hit land somewhere between Miami and Brevard County, then move northwest across the state south of Orlando on Thursday. On Friday, it could change course while still inland and be pulled back to the north up through the center of the state and into the southern U.S.

The NHC says that a subtropical cyclone is like a tropical system in that it is a low-pressure system with a closed surface wind circulation around a well-defined center and some deep convection. But its winds will be much more dispersed and less symmetrical than the winds in the center of a tropical storm, and the upper levels of its core will be cooler.

Most of the energy for tropical systems comes from warm water that is sucked up through the center and into the atmosphere. Most of the energy for subtropical systems comes from “baroclinic” sources, which means that they mix with a neighboring high or low-pressure system and trade-off temperature and pressure to try to reach an equilibrium.

Since it hasn’t turned into a tropical system yet, the NHC says it’s harder to predict its path and strength. However, the three-day cone of uncertainty shows that it could hit land anywhere from south of Miami to Volusia County, and it could hit just north of West Palm Beach in Martin County.

No matter where it goes, it could bring dangerous storm surges, damaging winds, and a lot of rain.

The NHC’s acting deputy director, Michael Brennan, said, “We could see higher-end impacts, dangerous storm surge, strong tropical-storm-force damaging winds, maybe even hurricane-force winds if this system goes on and becomes a hurricane and heavy rain that could track with or near the core of that storm if it goes on and develops tropical characteristics.”

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For now, the storm surge in the Bahamas could be 3 to 5 feet higher than usual, and it could rain 2 to 4 inches, with some places getting up to 6 inches, through Thursday.

The NHC said that the storm surge could be 3 to 5 feet along the coast of Florida from North Palm Beach to Georgia, including the St. Johns River. It could be 2 to 4 feet south of North Palm Beach to Hallandale Beach and along St. Johns to East Palatka.

Florida in September

Hurricane Ian did a lot of damage to Florida in September. Much of the central part of the state, including the area around the St. Johns River, was flooded because of Ian’s heavy rains. The NWS says that if this system dumps more rain, it could put pressure on water tables that are still dropping after the hurricane and cause more flooding.

“As the day goes on, dangerous sea conditions will get worse as winds work to raise the waves,” the NWS said in its Monday morning forecast. “The beach will be dangerous later today and tonight because of these winds and rising seas, which will cause choppy waves, dangerous rip currents, and a growing worry about beach erosion.”

The strongest winds are expected to hit east central Florida on Wednesday night and last through Thursday. The NWS says that as the center moves closer to the east coast of Florida on Wednesday and Wednesday night, the chance of tornadoes will increase.

The forecast said that squalls before and during the storm’s path could cause wind gusts of more than 50-60 mph along the coast and up to 35-50 mph well inland. “Also, storm total rainfall is expected to reach 4-6 inches along the coast and even reach the St. Johns River in Brevard County, 3-4 inches for most of the rest of the area, and 1-2 inches for northern Lake County and areas west of Florida’s Turnpike, with locally higher amounts possible.”

Monday morning, DeSantis said that emergency workers from the state are in touch with all 67 of the state’s counties to look for possible gaps in resources and make plans for the state to respond quickly and effectively to the system.

In a press release, he told everyone in Florida to be ready and make a plan in case a storm hits the state.

The Release Reminded Floridians

The release reminded Floridians that during hurricane season, they should know if they live in an evacuation zone, a low-lying, flood-prone area, a mobile home, or an unsafe building. It’s also important for people to know their home and how well it can stand up to strong winds and rain.

Volusia was one of the counties that had a lot of beachfront damage from Ian. Emergency Director Jim Judge said that the winds from the system’s north and east quadrants are a big problem again.

“We need to take this storm very seriously because it could cause more coastal erosion, which could be terrible for our beachfront properties that were damaged by Hurricane Ian,” he said. “We’re also looking at 4 to 8 inches of rain through Friday, which could cause flooding, and winds as strong as a tropical storm, which could knock out power to a lot of people.

Emergency officials in Seminole County said on Monday that they are getting ready for Nicole to dump several inches of rain this week, especially in places where floodwaters from Hurricane Ian have just started to go down.

“No one wants to hear that, but that’s how it looks right now,” said Alan Harris, who runs the emergency management office for Seminole. “Every forecast for us here has gotten a little worse.”

The St. Johns River is at a minor flood stage right now. But rain from Nicole could cause it to rise to moderate flood stage, county officials said. Some parts of Seminole could get as much as 7 to 8 inches of rain.

Harris also said that the storm’s possible zigzag path over the state is a worry.

“I guess a double whammy is not impossible,” he said. “This has happened in Seminole County before, in 2008. I’m not saying this is going to be Tropical Storm Fay, but the track is the exact opposite but very similar to how Fay came over us, turned around, and then came back over us. This looks like it will be a lot like that.”

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