A probable threat posed by Subtropical Storm Nicole prompted the issuance of a Hurricane Watch for part of South Florida on Monday. At 1:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Subtropical Storm Nicole was located at latitude 26.4°N and longitude 70.1°W which put it about 465 miles (720 km) east of the Northwestern Bahamas. Nicole was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.
A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Volusia/Brevard County Line to Hallandale Beach, Florida. The Hurricane Watch included Melbourne, West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. A Hurricane Watch was in effect for Lake Okeechobee. A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Altamaha Sound, Georgia to the Volusia/Brevard County Line, Florida. The Tropical Storm Watch included Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Hallandale Beach to Ocean Reef, Florida. The Tropical Storm Watch included Miami.
Subtropical Storm Nicole was churning over the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas on Monday afternoon. The circulation around Subtropical Storm Nicole continued to exhibit a complex structure that is fairly common late in the hurricane season. The surface center of circulation was northeast of an upper level low east of Florida. The strongest winds near the surface were occurring far to the east of the surface center. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 275 miles (445 km) in the eastern side of Subtropical Storm Nicole. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 80 miles (130 km) in the northwestern quadrant of Nicole. The winds in the southwestern quadrant of Nicole’s circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.
Subtropical Storm Nicole will move through an environment that is favorable for a gradual transition to a tropical storm during the next 48 hours. Nicole will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28˚C. The upper level low east of Florida will produce southerly winds that will blow across the top of the surface center of Subtropical Storm Nicole during the next 24 hours. Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear and the wind shear will inhibit intensification. Nicole will move into a region where the upper level winds are weaker on Tuesday and the wind shear will diminish. Subtropical Storm Nicole is likely to strengthen gradually during the next 24 hours. Nicole will move over warmer water when it moves over the Gulf Stream on Wednesday. Subtropical Storm Nicole is likely to make a transition to a tropical storm when it moves over the warmer water. Nicole could intensify to a hurricane when it moves over the warmer water.
The upper level low east of Florida will steer Subtropical Storm Nicole toward the northwest during the next 18 hours. A surface high pressure system currently over the Great Lakes will move over the East Coast of the U.S. and the western Atlantic Ocean. The high pressure system will block Nicole from moving toward the north. The high pressure system will steer Nicole toward the west-southwest on Tuesday and Wednesday. On its anticipated track Subtropical Storm Nicole could reach the Northwestern Bahamas on Wednesday morning. Nicole could reach the coast of Southeast Florida on Wednesday night. Nicole could be a hurricane when it reaches Florida. Nicole is likely to bring strong, gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the Northwestern Bahamas and southern Florida. The winds in the northern side of Nicole will blow water toward the coast of Florida and the Southeast U.S. Those winds will cause a storm surge and serious beach erosion when Nicole moves toward the coast.