NICOLE MOVING ACROSS WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA; STRONG WINDS, DANGEROUS STORM SURGE AND WAVES, AND HEAVY RAINS CONTINUE OVER A LARGE AREA.
SUMMARY OF 1000 AM EST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 30 MI…50 KM NE OF TAMPA FLORIDA
ABOUT 60 MI…95 KM WSW OF ORLANDO FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…50 MPH…85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 16 MPH…26 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…985 MB…29.09 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Sebastian Inlet Florida to South Santee River South Carolina
* Englewood to Indian Pass Florida
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Sebastian Inlet Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia
* Mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown Florida
* Anclote River Florida to Ochlockonee River Florida
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass Florida
* Altamaha Sound Georgia to South Santee River South Carolina
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 1000 AM EST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Nicole was located near latitude 28.2 North, longitude 82.2 West. Nicole is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h). A turn toward the northwest and north-northwest is expected later today, followed by a turn toward the north tonight. Nicole is expected to accelerate north-northeastward on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will continue to move across the west central Florida peninsula this morning and emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon. The center should then move across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia tonight, and then move through the southeastern United States on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is expected this morning while the center is over land. Little change in strength is expected while Nicole is over the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon and evening. Nicole is expected to weaken to a depression over Georgia tonight, and then it is expected to merge with a frontal boundary over the Mid-Atlantic United States by Friday night.
Nicole remains a large tropical storm. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 345 miles (555 km) from the center, especially to the northeast. A short time ago, the NOAA Coastal Marine Automated Station at Saint Augustine, Florida, reported 10-minute average winds of 52 mph (83 km/h) and a wind gust of 70 mph (113 km/h). The NOAA National Ocean Service station at Clearwater Beach, Florida, recently reported sustained winds of 51 mph (82 km/h) and a wind gust of 59 mph (95 km/h).
The estimated minimum central pressure from surface observation is 985 mb (29.09 inches). Winter Haven, Florida, recently reported a pressure of 985.4 mb (29.10 inches).
1. Tropical storm conditions will continue along the east coast of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina within the warning areas today. Tropical storm conditions will spread northward along the west coast of Florida to the coast of the Florida Panhandle through tonight.
2. A dangerous storm surge is expected along portions of the east-central and northeastern coast of Florida, portions of coastal Georgia, and the Florida Big Bend along the Gulf coast. The storm surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves along the Atlantic coast. Residents in the warning area should listen to advice given by local officials.
3. Do not focus on the exact track of Nicole since it is a large storm with hazards extending well to the north of the center, outside of the forecast cone. These hazards will continue to affect much of the Florida peninsula and portions of the southeast United States.
4. Nicole will produce heavy rainfall today across the Florida Peninsula. Flash and urban flooding will be possible across portions of the Florida Peninsula along with renewed river flooding on the St. Johns River. Isolated flash, urban, and small stream flooding will also be possible on Friday in the Southeast through the central Appalachians, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, and extending northward through eastern Ohio, west central Pennsylvania, into western New York by Friday night into Saturday.
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