Nicole is expected to intensify to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall on Florida’s east coast

Tropical Storm Nicole is set to intensify to a category 1 storm as it approaches the east Florida coast, according to the latest projections from Tropical Storm Risk. The late season storm is currently tracking north of West Palm Beach and expected to make landfall within the next 24 hours.

A hurricane warning is in effect across portions of the coast of southeast and east-central Florida beginning this evening, according to the National Hurricane Center. It warns that a dangerous storm surge is expected along much of the east coast of Florida and portions of coastal Georgia, in addition to heavy rainfall and flash flooding. 

Nicole is described as a “large storm with hazards extending well to the north of the center, outside of the forecast cone”.

Rare event

James Cosgrove, a senior modeler at RMS, suggests that the fourteenth named storm of the year, if verified by the National Hurricane Center, could be a rare event – a hurricane in November making landfall on Florida’s east coast.  

Nicole is forecast to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on November 10 and could be only the second hurricane to make landfall along the east coast of Florida in the month of November since record keeping began, and only the second storm to make landfall in the US as a hurricane later than November 8.  

Although Nicole is not comparable with the size and intensity of Hurricane Ian, it is a broad storm that will bring some impacts to a large geographic area, with heavy rainfall, life-threatening storm surges, and large swells to the northwest of The Bahamas, Florida, and the southeast US.  

Hurricane and/or storm surge warnings are in place from North Palm Beach in Florida to Georgetown, South Carolina, with Nicole expected to bring up to seven inches of rainfall across east, central, and north Florida.

Some areas on the coast northeast of Orlando could receive up to 10 inches of rainfall, with up to four inches across southeast Georgia and into parts of South Carolina. 

Should Nicole not attain hurricane intensity, and instead makes landfall as a strong tropical storm, it will still be the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall along the east coast of Florida this late in the calendar year.