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Nicole strengthens to a hurricane as it nears Florida's coast

WESH Orlando 11/10/2022
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ABOVE: WESH 2 is in continuous live coverage as Nicole approaches

Tropical Storm Nicole officially became Hurricane Nicole Wednesday evening as it crept closer to Florida's east coast.

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As of 2 a.m., Nicole was 15 miles east of Fort Pierce, Florida. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

According to WESH 2 meteorologists, Nicole's path had shifted slightly southward overnight into Wednesday. However, experts emphasize that tropical-storm-force winds extend hundreds of miles from the center of circulation. No matter where it eventually makes landfall, the storm will bring hurricane conditions to many Central Florida beaches, and hurricane gusts to areas inland.

Hurricane Nicole: County by county impacts

Central Florida schools close as Nicole approaches

Brevard and Volusia counties were placed under a hurricane warning. Flagler remains under a hurricane watch. A tropical storm warning has been posted for Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole.

Latest forecast below:

Know your evacuation zones

Throughout the day Wednesday, as feeder bands close in on the peninsula, Central Florida is going to be looking at an elevated threat for strong to severe storms, including isolated tornadoes, gusty winds.

The worst of the weather will arrive late Wednesday into Thursday morning. Nicole knocked the power out for thousands of residents in Brevard County.

"On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move onshore the east coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area within the next couple of hours. Nicole's center is then expected to move across central and northern Florida into southern Georgia today and tonight, and into the Carolinas on Friday," the NHC said in the latest update. "Nicole is expected to weaken while moving across Florida and the southeastern United States today through Friday, and it is likely to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday afternoon."

Storm surge estimates

* North Palm Beach Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia including the St. Johns River to the Fuller Warren Bridge...3 to 5 feet

* Altamaha Sound Georgia to the South Santee River South Carolina...2 to 4 feet

* St. Johns River south of the Fuller Warren Bridge to Georgetown Florida...2 to 4 feet

* Hallandale Beach to North Palm Beach...2 to 4 feet

* Anclote River to Indian Pass...2 to 4 feet

* Englewood to Anclote River including Tampa Bay...1 to 3 feet

* North of Ocean Reef to Hallandale Beach including Biscayne Bay...1 to 2 feet

Rainfall estimates

* Northwest Bahamas into the eastern, central and northern portions of the Florida Peninsula: 3 to 5 inches with local potential for up to 8 inches.

* Southeast into the southern and central Appalachians, western Mid-Atlantic, and eastern portions of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio: 2 to 4 inches with local potential for up to 6 inches along the Blue Ridge.

* Northern Mid-Atlantic into portions of New York: 1 to 4 inches.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...

* The Abacos, Berry Islands, and Grand Bahama Island in the northwestern Bahamas

* Boca Raton to Flagler/Volusia County Line Florida

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

* Bimini in the northwestern Bahamas

* Hallandale Beach Florida to Boca Raton Florida

* Flagler/Volusia County Line Florida to South Santee River South Carolina

* North of Bonita Beach to Indian Pass Florida

* Lake Okeechobee

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...

* North Palm Beach Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia

* Mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown Florida

* Anclote River Florida to Ochlockonee River Florida

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...

* Lake Okeechobee

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...

* Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass Florida

* South of North Palm Beach to Hallandale Beach Florida

* Altamaha Sound Georgia to South Santee River South Carolina

SURVIVING THE SEASON: Everything you need to know this hurricane season in Florida

>>> DOWNLOAD THE WESH 2 NEWS HURRICANE SURVIVAL GUIDE <<<

KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN A HURRICANE WATCH IS ISSUED

  • Stay tuned to WESH 2 News, WESH.com, or NOAA Weather Radio for storm updates.
  • Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Understand hurricane forecast models and cones.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood.
  • Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first-aid supplies, drinking water and medications.

The WESH 2 First Warning Weather Team recommends you have these items ready before the storm strikes.

  • Bottled water: One gallon of water per person per day
  • Canned food and soup, such as beans and chili
  • Can opener for the cans without the easy-open lids
  • Assemble a first-aid kit
  • Two weeks' worth of prescription medications
  • Baby/children's needs, such as formula and diapers
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery-operated weather radio

WHAT TO DO WHEN A HURRICANE WARNING IS ISSUED

  • Listen to the advice of local officials. If you are advised to evacuate, leave.
  • Complete preparation activities.
  • If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
  • Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during a hurricane and after it passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.

HOW YOUR SMARTPHONE CAN HELP DURING A HURRICANE

A smartphone can be your best friend in a hurricane — with the right websites and apps, you can turn it into a powerful tool for guiding you through a storm’s approach, arrival and aftermath.

Download the WESH 2 News app for iOS | Android

Enable emergency alerts — if you have an iPhone, select settings, then go into notifications. From there, look for government alerts and enable emergency alerts.

If you have an Android phone, from the home page of the app, scroll to the right along the bottom and click on "settings." On the settings menu, click on "severe weather alerts." From the menu, select from the most severe, moderate-severe or all alerts.

PET AND ANIMAL SAFETY

Your pet should be a part of your family plan. If you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe space for them, could result in injury or death.

  • Contact hotels and motels outside of your immediate area to see if they take pets.
  • Ask friends, relatives and others outside of the affected area whether they could shelter your animal.

READ THE FULL STORY:Nicole strengthens to a hurricane as it nears Florida's coast

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