Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida early on Thursday. Nicole weakened to a tropical storm after it made landfall. At 4:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Nicole was located at latitude 27.8°N and longitude 80.7°W which put it about 60 miles (95 km) southeast of Orlando, Florida. Nicole was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 981 mb.
A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Boca Raton, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina. The Tropical Storm Warning included West Palm Beach, Ft. Pierce, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, and Charleston, South Carolina. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Lake Okeechobee. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Bonita Beach to Indian Pass, Florida, The Tropical Storm Warning included Tampa and St. Petersburg.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the center of Hurricane Nicole made landfall on the east coast of Florida just to the south of Vero Beach. The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km) at the time of landfall. Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) in the eastern side of Nicole’s circulation at the time of landfall. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 450 miles (725 km) from the center of circulation.
Hurricane Nicole weakened to a tropical storm after the center moved inland over Central Florida, but Nicole was bringing strong, gusty winds to Central Florida. A weather station in Vero Beach reported a sustained wind speed of 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and a wind gust of 60 m.p.h. (97 km/h). A weather station in Melbourne reported a sustained wind speed of 52 m.p.h. (84 km/h) and a wind gust of 64 m.p.h. (103 km/h). A weather station in Orlando reported a sustained wind speed of 43 m.p.h. (69 km/h) and a wind gust of 63 m.p.h. (102 km/h). Tropical Storm Nicole was dropping heavy rain over parts of the Florida Peninsula.
Tropical Storm Nicole will move around the southwestern part of a surface high pressure system near the East Coast of the U.S. The high pressure system will steer Nicole toward the northwest during the next 12 hours. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Nicole will move over northern Florida on Thursday evening. An upper level trough and a cold front will approach Nicole from the west on Thursday night. The upper level trough and cold front will steer Tropical Storm Nicole toward the northeast on Friday. The center of Nicole could be over South Carolina on Friday afternoon.
Tropical Storm Nicole will weaken gradually as it moves across Central Florida. Nicole will continue to bring strong, gusty winds to central and northern Florida. Gusty winds could cause widespread power outages. Even though the center of Nicole will be inland, easterly winds will continue to blow water toward the east coast of Florida. Tropical Storm Nicole could cause a storm surge of up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) in some locations. Large waves will continue to cause significant beach erosion. Nicole will drop heavy rain over parts of central and northern Florida and southern Georgia. Heavy rain could cause fresh water floods in some locations.