December 4, 2022

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Nicole Forecast to Strengthen; Hurricane Warnings Issued for the Bahamas

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Nicole forecast to strengthen Tuesday night and Wednesday. Hurricane warning issued for portions of the northwestern Bahamas.

SUMMARY OF 400 PM EST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…26.6N 70.6W
ABOUT 435 MI…705 KM ENE OF THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1000 MB…29.53 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Northwest Bahamas, including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, and Grand Bahama Island.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Andros Island, New Providence, and Eleuthera.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* East Coast of Florida from the Volusia/Brevard County Line to Hallandale Beach
* Lake Okeechobee

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Altamaha Sound to Hallandale Beach
* Mouth of the St. Johns River to East Palatka

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Altamaha Sound southward to the Volusia/Brevard County Line
* Hallandale Beach to north of Ocean Reef

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
———————-
At 400 PM EST (2100 UTC), the center of Subtropical Storm Nicole was located near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 70.6 West. The storm is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h). A slower northwestward motion is expected tonight. A turn toward the west or west-southwest is forecast to begin by Tuesday night and that motion should continue through early Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will approach the northwestern Bahamas on Tuesday and Tuesday night, move near or over those islands on Wednesday, and approach the east coast of Florida Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is forecast tonight or Tuesday, with a faster rate of strengthening expected Tuesday night and Wednesday. Nicole is forecast to be at or near hurricane intensity by Wednesday or Wednesday night while it is moving near or over the northwestern Bahamas. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 310 miles (500 km) from the center. The latest minimum central pressure estimated from data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected in the northwest Bahamas within the hurricane warning area by early Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions expected elsewhere in the northwest Bahamas by Tuesday night. Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area in Florida by Wednesday night with tropical storm conditions possible by Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

*North Palm Beach to Altamaha Sound including the St. Johns River to the Fuller Warren Bridge… 3 to 5 ft
* St. Johns River south of the Fuller Warren Bridge to East Palatka… 2 to 4 ft
*Hallandale Beach to North Palm Beach… 2 to 4 ft
*North of Ocean Reef to Hallandale Beach including Biscayne Bay… 1 to 2 ft

Storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast of the northwestern Bahamas in areas of onshore winds. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the north of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.

RAINFALL: Nicole is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Thursday: Across the northwest Bahamas, and the central and northern portions of the Florida Peninsula: 2 to 4 inches, with local maxima of 6 inches. Across coastal areas of southeast Florida: 1 to 3 inches, with local maxima of 5 inches. Heavy rainfall from this system will spread north across the Southeast late this week.

SURF: Large swells generated by Nicole will affect the northwest Bahamas, east coast of Florida, and much of the coast of the southeastern United States during the next several days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Scott Martin

2022-11-07 21:05:37

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