Nicole will move toward the Bahamas today; intensification is forecast

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Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 6:51 AM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A building area of high pressure to the north of Nicole will drive the storm in a move southwesterly direction today, on a path that will take her toward the Bahamas later today.

It will move out from under the influence of an upper-level trough and dry air and begin to tap into the warm waters off the southeast Florida coast. As it does so, thunderstorm activity will build around its center of circulation and moisten the environment around the storm.

This will be key to a more rapid intensification of the storm and the forecast calls for Nicole to become a hurricane before making landfall early Thursday on the southeast Florida coast.

It will then arc northwest toward the Gulf Coast, passing close to the Suncoast. On this path we can expect a 40% to 50% probability of tropical storm force winds contained in rain bands that will move into central Florida on late Wednesday or early Thursday. In general, the winds will be in the 15-30 mph range with higher gusts. Rainfall of several inches will come in waves with isolated amounts perhaps nearly 4 inches. Street flooding will be possible. A risk of tornadoes may also exist Wednesday night into Thursday, however that risk is not high. Sporadic power outages and some downed trees may also occur as some wind gusts could be as high as 40 to 45 mph and some trees may have already been weakened by Ian. Of course, any significant change in the forecast track of Nicole will necessitate the reevaluation of the forecast.

Tides on Thursday night may run 2-3 feet above normal. And rip currents will be possible on Friday.

Although the system will another large one, it will be much weaker than Ian. This will be a manageable storm with the largest threat being for any marine activities. Secure your vessel.