Winds and rain move in today as Nicole advances toward Florida
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Nicole will continue to organize today. As Nicole grows stronger the winds will tighten around the core of the storm.
To the north of the storm the winds will extend outward up the mid-Atlantic coast, giving a risk of east coast storm surge that could be up to 5 feet. The envelope of tropical storm winds will extend outward as much as 300 miles to the north, east and west.
To the south, the winds may only extend outward 100 miles. It will be a large storm and because of that, our winds will start to pick up as early as this morning and continue increasing into the afternoon and reaching a peak in the early morning hours tomorrow.
Assuming no major chance in the track shifting south, the maximum sustained winds locally will be 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph. That kind of wind is capable of doing minor damage, including carport, siding and awning damage. It can cause trees to fall, especially if the root structure is compromised by heavy rains. Lightweight object can be tossed about. And unsecured tarps from Hurricane Ian could be blown about. But winds of this type will not do any major damage to structures.
By afternoon, showers and gusty storms will move in and become stronger and wetter overnight. Severe weather is possible but low risk. The atmosphere will not be particularly conducive to tornadoes. The combination of gusty winds and periods of heavy rain will make driving, at times, hazardous. Watch of ponding water on roads and stay of the streets, if possible, tonight and tomorrow.
Boating is out of the question today and tomorrow. Wave heights will increase throughout the day and could reach 11 feet by tomorrow.
In general, find a sturdy shelter, stay off the roads, don’t even think about venturing into the waters, and ride out the next 48 hours. After that, sunny and cooler weather will arrive for the weekend.
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