Several severe weather warnings are now in effect for Florida’s east coast as Subtropical Storm Nicole heads toward the Sunshine State.
The National Weather Service has warned that it could be as strong as Nicole Cyclone When it arrives in East Florida late Wednesday.
A storm may strike Election week In the southeastern state, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is running against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist and Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Sen. Trying to impeach Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for 34 of Florida’s 67 counties.
“While this storm, at this time, does not appear to be very strong, I urge all Floridians to be prepared,” the governor said in a statement Monday. “We will continue to monitor the track and strength of this storm as it moves toward Florida.”
Meanwhile, Florida Power & Light urged customers to prepare for power outages and activated its emergency response plan ahead of Nicole’s potential impact on the state this week.
“[Hurricane] Ion saturated soils and weakened trees in many parts of the state, so Nicholls could cause trees to topple and other vegetation and debris to blow onto overhead power lines and equipment, potentially causing outages,” Florida Power said. & Light President and CEO Eric Silagy said in a statement on Monday.
Nicole formed in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean on Monday, becoming the 14th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends this month. Nicole’s center is expected to approach the northwestern Bahamas on Tuesday, move near or over those islands on Wednesday, then approach the east coast of Florida and make landfall there on Wednesday night. According to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, it will move through central and northern Florida and into southern Georgia on Thursday.
Currently, Nicole has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Winds up to 40 mph are 380 miles from the center of the storm.
“Nicole is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm later today and is forecast to be near hurricane strength Wednesday and Wednesday night as it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the east coast of Florida,” the National Weather Service said in a public advisory Tuesday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued hurricane and tropical storm warnings for parts of the northwestern Bahamas. Tropical storm and storm surge warnings, tropical storm and storm surge watches, and hurricane watches were issued for parts of south and central Florida and coastal southeast Georgia.
“Interests along the central Bahamas, the rest of Florida, and the southeast coast of the United States should monitor Nicole’s progress,” the National Weather Service said in a public advisory Tuesday morning. “Additional watches or warnings may be required later today.”
Hurricane conditions are expected Wednesday in the northwestern Bahamas, within a hurricane warning area, and tropical storm conditions will begin over the entire area by Tuesday night. According to the National Weather Service, a storm surge can raise water levels in coastal areas by 4 to 6 feet above normal tide levels.
Along Florida’s east coast, hurricane conditions are possible by Wednesday night, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are also possible along Florida’s west coast by Wednesday night within the watch area.
Through Friday, Nicole is expected to produce 3 to 5 inches of rain across the northwestern Bahamas and the eastern, central, and northern parts of the Florida peninsula, with local maximums of 7 inches. 1 to 4 inches of rain is possible in southeast Georgia and parts of South Carolina. of the stormheavy rainThe National Weather Service said it will spread northward along the eastern seaboard late Thursday into Friday.
Large waves generated by Nicole will affect the northwestern Bahamas, the east coast of Florida, and much of the southeastern U.S. coast over the next few days.
“These swells can create life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the National Weather Service warned.
Tropical weather systems have the ability to rapidly develop into cyclones, while subtropical ones do not. A subtropical storm usually produces heavy rain and severe thunderstorms. A subtropical storm has become fully tropical when it has intensified to hurricane force winds. According to the National Weather Service, there is no such thing as a subtropical cyclone.
ABC News’ Max Kenton Ziweke, Columbo, Melissa Griffin, Samantha Weneck and Ginger Gee contributed to this report.