Former Subtropical Storm Nicole completed a transition to a tropical storm on Tuesday morning and a Hurricane Warning was issued for a portion of the east coast of Florida. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Nicole was located at latitude 27.8°N and longitude 72.7°W which put it about 460 miles (740 km) east of West Palm Beach, Florida. Nicole was moving toward the west at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.
A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Boca Raton to the Flagler/ Volusia County Line, Florida. The Hurricane Warning included West Palm Beach, Ft. Pierce, Melbourne and Daytona Beach. A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini and Grand Bahama Island. A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Flagler/Volusia County Line to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Hallandale Beach to Boca Raton, Florida. A Hurricane Watch was in effect for Lake Okeechobee. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Andros Island, New Providence and Eleuthera. A Tropcial Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Hallandale Beach to Boca Raton, Florida. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Altamaha Sound, Georgia to the Flagler/Volusia County Line, Florida. The Tropical Storm Warning includes Jacksonville. 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. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Bonita Beach to the Ochlockonee River, Florida. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Altamaha Sound to Savannah River, Georgia.
More thunderstorms formed near the center of former Subtropical Storm Nicole’s circulation. Thunderstorms near the center of circulation is one of the characteristics of a tropical storm. When the thunderstorms near the center persisted, the National Hurricane Center indicated that Nicole had complete a transition to a tropical storm. There was still a large area of tropical storm force winds around Nicole. Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 380 miles (615 km) in the northern side of Tropical Storm Nicole. Those winds were not entirely being produced by Nicole’s circulation. A large surface high pressure system was over the northeastern U.S. The high pressure system was interacting with the northern side of Nicole’s circulation to generate the large area of tropical storm force winds.
Tropical Storm Nicole will move through an environment that is favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Nicole will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28˚C. It will move into a region where the upper level winds are weaker and the vertical wind shear will diminish. Tropical Storm Nicole is likely to intensify gradually during the next 12 hours. Nicole will move over warmer water when it moves over the Gulf Stream on Wednesday. Nicole will extract more energy from the warmer water and it is likely to strengthen more rapidly on Wednesday. Tropical Storm Nicole could intensify to a hurricane when it moves over the warmer water.
The surface high pressure system currently over the northeastern U.S. will block Tropical Storm Nicole from moving toward the north. The high pressure system will steer Nicole toward the west-southwest during the next 18 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nicole will reach the Northwestern Bahamas on Wednesday morning. Nicole will move toward the west-northwest on Wednesday when it reaches the southwestern part of the high pressure system. Nicole will reach the east coast of 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 to central and northern 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.