Heavy rain and damaging winds could make Florida’s east coast a Category 1 storm this week as many residents are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Ian.
National Hurricane Center Acting Director Jamie Rohm said Subtropical Storm Nicole is expected to gradually intensify as it approaches the Florida peninsula, bringing heavy rains that could lead to dangerous storm surges and strong winds starting Wednesday.
“We may have good parts of the Florida peninsula,” Rohm said Monday. The video briefing was published on the Internet.
According to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford, more than 20 million people are under a tropical storm warning from Hallandale Beach, Florida, as far north as Altamaha Sound, Georgia. Additionally, a tropical storm warning has been issued for Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, he said.
Additionally, more than 5 million people are under storm surge warnings from North Palm Beach north to the Altamaha Sound, including from the mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown, Shackelford added.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 8 million people were affected by the storm in Florida, Shackelford said. He said the storm will be over West Palm Beach by Thursday morning.
Areas on the state’s west coast north of Bonita Beach to the Ohlokone River were also under a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning.
Nicole was about 400 miles east-northeast of the northwest Bahamas as of Tuesday morning. It is expected to become a tropical storm by Tuesday evening.
Nicole is not expected to strengthen as quickly as Hurricane Ian, which killed at least 120 people in its path in Florida in late September.
“We’re not predicting a major storm,” Rohm said. “Again, not Ian’s situation, but still a potentially impressive system.”
It is expected to become a severe tropical storm or Category 1 storm by the time it reaches Florida late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, Rohm said.
“Florida residents need to take this seriously,” Rohm said.
The warning comes as a hurricane watch is in effect for Florida’s east coast from Volusia/Brevard County to Hallandale Beach, according to the hurricane center.
The watch also extends from Miami north to the Space Coast and includes Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Cape Canaveral and Melbourne.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Subtropical Storm Nicole, with sustained winds of 45 mph and higher gusts, as it veers northwest of the Bahamas toward Florida on Tuesday.
“Don’t let ‘Sab’ fool you. #Nicole is a severe storm that will have major impacts along the SE US coastline, not near the center. Coastal flooding, high tides and rip currents will extend from FL to NC,” – National Weather Service job title explained.
As many people in Florida head to the polls on Tuesday for midterm election day, forecasters are warning them to be prepared.
“Florida can expect scattered showers and thunderstorms to affect parts of the state Tuesday afternoon,” Shackelford said.
“Storms are accompanied by large and damaging waves. “Residents in the warning area should listen to the advice of local authorities,” the hurricane center said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava reported online He received information about the storm and urged residents to prepare.
“Residents and visitors should monitor the forecast and make sure their storm kit is updated,” Levine Cava said in a social media post. “We are taking all necessary precautions to prepare for possible flooding and power outages.”
Officials do not expect the storm to affect Tuesday’s election day.
Rohm, the hurricane center’s acting director, said there is the potential for large areas of flooding along the east coast of the Florida peninsula beginning Wednesday, adding that some of those areas were affected by Hurricane Ian.
The main threats to Florida are storm surges that could bring up to 5 feet along the coast, along with up to 7 inches of rain and strong winds. These conditions are forecast mainly for Wednesday evening and Thursday.