Nicole made landfall in Florida as a hurricane with storm surges, strong winds, flooding rain

Nicole made landfall in Florida as a hurricane with storm surges, strong winds, flooding rain

  • Nicole made landfall in Florida early Thursday evening as a hurricane and has now weakened to a tropical storm.
  • Coastal flooding, strong winds, flooding rains and tornadoes are expected along the southeast coast.
  • Flooding rain, strong winds and a few tornadoes are possible across the rest of the east from Friday into early Saturday.

Nicole made landfall in Florida early Thursday morning as a hurricane, but its impacts, including extended coastal flooding, beach erosion, strong winds, high waves, heavy rain and tornadoes, will continue to affect other parts of the Southeast, as well as the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast until the end of the working week.

Nicole’s center pushed ashore just south of Vero Beach, Florida, at 3 a.m. ET. Maximum sustained winds were 75 mph, making Nicole a Category 1 hurricane.

Now that Nicole is inland, she has weakened to a strong tropical storm.

Nicole is alone The hurricane made landfall on the US mainland on November 4 in records dating back to the mid-19th century, and the first to do so in 37 years.

Current status

Radar shows bands of rain rotating across north and central Florida this morning.

(​MORE: Live updates | Photographs)


Nicole’s large wind field means tropical storm-force winds (39 mph or higher) extend well to the west, north and east of that center, including much of peninsular Florida, coastal Georgia and coastal South Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Analysis Center below.

Winds gusted to 70 mph or higher on Florida’s Atlantic coast, including Playalinda Beach (77 mph), Cape Canaveral (75 mph) and Melbourne (70 mph). Wind gusts of nearly 60 miles per hour were reported in Orlando.

NOAA tide gauge reported extensive coastal flooding this morning in Port Canaveral, Florida from a storm surge of over 5 feet.


Warnings and watches

All hurricane warnings have been lifted now that Nicole has weakened to a tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for a wide area of ​​southern, central and northern Florida, southern Georgia and the South Carolina lowlands.​​

Cities under tropical storm warnings include Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa and Tallahassee, Florida, as well as Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.

A storm surge warning is in effect from Jupiter Inlet, Florida to Glynn County, Georgia, part of the St. Johns in northeast Florida from Georgetown to where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean north of Jacksonville Beach, and along the Florida Gulf Coast from Pasco County north to Wakulla County. This means that a dangerous, life-threatening wave of water is expected along the coast in these areas.


Forecast impacts

Nicole is forecast to continue weakening today as it curves northwest over Florida.

It will then be picked up by a cold front that will turn the storm northeast over the southeastern states on Friday. The remaining energy and moisture from Nicole will join with that cold front to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the East Coast on Saturday.


Current status, forecast path

(The red shaded area indicates the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It is important to note that impacts (especially heavy rain, strong waves, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone usually extend beyond its forecast path. )

Below is a preview of what you can expect from Nicole. Note that Nicole’s large size means that her strikes will spread far from his center, arriving earlier and lasting longer than going through the center.

Storm surge, coastal flooding, beach erosion

Sustained onshore winds will lead to coastal flooding along parts of the Southeast coast from Florida to the Carolinas through Thursday, or in some areas, into Friday.

The National Hurricane Center’s forecast for the highest storm surge, if it occurs at high tide, is shown below.

Due to coastal flooding during multiple tidal cycles and wave pounding above the storm surge, extensive beach erosion and some infrastructure damage is expected along Florida’s east coast and parts of the Georgia coast. This is especially the case for east coast of Florida damaged by Hurricane Ian at the end of September.

Some moderate to severe coastal flooding is also possible as far north as South Carolina, including Charleston, where coastal flooding is expected to peak with high tide by mid-morning Thursday. Major street flooding is possible in the city during this peak storm tide.

One exception to this general scenario will be part of the Gulf Coast in western Florida.

The tide will start much lower than normal due to the offshore winds.

But later on Thursday, water levels can rise quickly as the winds shift onshore as Nikola’s center moves north. This may lead to some coastal flooding and storm surge in the areas shown on the map below, peaking Thursday evening but continuing into Friday.

(Maximum storm surge forecast from NHC if surge arrives at high tide.)

Tropical storm force winds (39 mph or stronger) will continue to develop across much of the Florida peninsula on Thursday.

These strong winds are expected to knock out power and could bring down trees, especially near the coast.


While Nicole will weaken, strong wind gusts are possible in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia by Friday.

Nicole’s remnant teaming with a cold front and stronger jet stream energy could produce gusty winds Friday night into Saturday morning in the Northeast, from the Delmarva Peninsula and Chesapeake Bay north to New England, especially near the coast.

These wind gusts could lead to scattered tree damage and at least some power outages Friday through Saturday.


Heavy rain has already reached Florida and should spread north into parts of Georgia and the Carolinas by Friday.

The heaviest rainfall is expected in parts of central and northern Florida, including some areas flooded by Hurricane Ian’s rain.

Parts of the St. Johns are still above flood stage after Ian’s rain about six weeks ago. According to the NWS, the St. Johns has been falling slowly in recent weeks after Ian will transition to slowly rising and then stable levels above flood level after Nikole’s rain.

Some minor river flooding is also expected in parts of the river Peace and Little Manatee Rivers in West Florida that suffered major flooding during Ian. But this flood will not be anywhere near the size of Ian’s flood.

Nicole’s moisture combined with an approaching cold front will bring heavy rain to the Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and Northeast Friday through Saturday.

Heavy rainfall of 1 to 5 inches is possible from parts of southern Florida to the Carolinas, Georgia, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with locally higher amounts.

This could lead to localized flash and river flooding, particularly in the Appalachians and adjacent foothills, as well as parts of the Northeast.



As with most land-based storms, some isolated tornadoes and damaging storm-force winds are also possible in Nicole’s rainbands Thursday through Friday.

Here’s a look at the timing.

-Thursday-Thursday night: Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia, Central and Coastal South Carolina, and Southern North Carolina.

-Friday-Friday night: Central and eastern Carolina to mid-Atlantic.

Storm Recap So Far

Nicole strengthened to a hurricane Wednesday evening as it made landfall over Grand Bahama. Wind gusts of 61 mph were reported on the island Wednesday night.

Large waves and coastal flooding affect most of the southeast coast. The water level has reached the top about 2 feet above normal along Florida’s Atlantic coast with high tide Wednesday morning.

Flooding was reported around houses on Anastasia Island, near St. Augustine, and on some streets in West Palm Beach, Wednesday. A sea wall was breached by storm surge in St. Lucie near Jensen Beach. Beach erosion undermined a structure and ate in the hotel parking lot Daytona Beach Shores.

Storm flooding was also captured on video Wednesday morning Marsh Harbourin the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, which were hit by Hurricane Dorian in 2019. In Hope Town, winds reached 60 miles per hour, according to the Bahamas Bureau of Meteorology.

Minor street flooding was also reported around high tide Wednesday morning in Charleston, South Carolina.

Check back with us on weather.com for important updates on Nicole.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on the latest weather news, the environment and the importance of science in our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the views of our parent company, IBM.

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