- Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a warning on Sunday afternoon urging Floridians to keep watch of Subtropical Storm Nicole, which seems likely to make landfall over the state later this week
- Nicole officially became a subtropical storm on Monday and could be at or near hurricane strength by the time it hits Florida’s east coast on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center
- Early projection models place Nicole’s landfall in a range of Central Florida locations, spanning as south as Miami-Dade County and reaching as far north as Cocoa Beach
- As of Monday morning, the storm was recorded to have sustained wind speeds sitting at 45 miles per hour, with north-northwest movement of 14 miles per hour
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a warning on Sunday suggesting that Floridians make necessary preparations in anticipation of Subtropical Storm Nicole potentially making landfall over the state.
Nicole officially became a subtropical storm on Monday and could be at or near hurricane strength by the time it hits Florida’s east coast on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“I encourage all Floridians to be prepared and make a plan in the event a storm impacts Florida,” said DeSantis. “We will continue to monitor the path and trajectory of [Subtropical storm Nicole] and we remain in constant contact with all state and local government partners.”
The National Hurricane Center states that Nicole is anticipated to be a large storm, and regardless of its precise trajectory, expects a range of storm effects along the east coast such as coastal flooding, heavy rainfall, and tropical storm-level winds. The storm could reach hurricane strength as it moves closer in proximity to the northwest Bahamian shoreline, potentially bringing storm surges to low-lying areas.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued in the Bahamas, with additional watches potentially being issued by the Hurricane Center for Florida later this week. In anticipation of landfall, DeSantis urged Floridians to adhere to orders given by local officials.
Contemporaneous to ongoing Hurricane Ian recovery, the state remains in communication with the emergency management officials of all 67 counties to identify potential resource gaps and to implement plans that will allow the state to respond quickly and efficiently ahead of the potential strengthening of Subtropical Storm Nicole.
The Governor’s office and the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) state that they are coordinating with all state agencies and private sector partners to monitor potential needs.
“As the Division continues to support communities in their recovery from Hurricane Ian, we are now closely monitoring [Subtropical Storm Nicole],” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “It is critical for Floridians to review their disaster preparedness plans and follow all directions from local officials in anticipation of potential impacts.”
Early projection models place Nicole’s landfall in a range of Central Florida locations, spanning as south as Miami-Dade County and reaching as far north as Cocoa Beach. As of Monday morning, the storm was recorded to have sustained wind speeds sitting at 45 miles per hour, with north-northwest movement of 14 miles per hour.
Hurricane Center projections anticipate future wind speeds of 74 to 110 miles per hour at full strength.
“The main impacts on the Florida Peninsula will be from torrential rain and strong, long-duration winds as well as the effects of pounding waves on the Atlantic coast,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. “After swinging back over Florida, Nicole is likely to take a northward turn and track along the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. late this week and then Atlantic Canada later this weekend.”
The storm threat occurs just weeks after Florida was battered by Hurricane Ian, now considered one of the strongest and deadliest storms to ever hit the state, leaving 114 people dead.
Turning streets into rivers, flood water heights of at least 12 feet were recorded in the southwestern Florida counties of Hillsborough and Lee. In its wake, more than 2 million Floridians are left without power, and recovery costs are estimated to exceed $40 billion.