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The NWS National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane warning for portions of Florida’s east coast as Tropical Storm Nicole begins to strengthen over the Atlantic high seas.
The NHC’s 10 a.m. EST advisory showed the center of TS Nicole located approximately 400 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida and moving west at 9 m.p.h. Maximum sustained winds are about 50 m.p.h. with intensification to a hurricane expected as it approaches the coast.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for portions of the northwestern Bahamas where hurricane conditions and a dangerous storm surge are expected on Wednesday. Portions of southeast and east-central Florida should also see hurricane conditions beginning late Wednesday or Wednesday night, prompting a Hurricane Warning there.
In a video posted to social media, NHC Acting Deputy Director Michael Brennan explained that Nicole has a broad outer circulation with tropical storm force winds extending outwards of up to 380 miles from the center, so a large area of impacts is expected.
Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch said on Twitter that sess are expected to build to 30 feet north of the Bahamas and east of Florida by Wednesday. Due to the large wind field, 12-foot seas will extend over 500 nautical miles in the northeast quadrant of Nicole.
A dangerous storm surge is expected along much of the east coast of Florida and portions of Georgia, where a Storm Surge Warning is in effect.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port for sectors Jacksonville and Charelston have set Hurricane Port Condition X-RAY. Under X-RAY, winds of 40 MPH or greater are possible within 48 hours. Captain of the Port for Miami is ordering Port Condition ZULU, halting vessel movements within the port, starting at 8 p.m.
As of now, JAXPORT remains open.
“JAXPORT facilities are open and operational as we continue to monitor the storm. We will continue to provide information as it is made available,” the port said in an update on Tuesday.
So far this hurricane season has seen 14 named storms, including Nicole, seven hurricanes and two major hurricanes. With the end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season approaching at the end of the month, we’ll see if whether this late-season storm is the last of it or if there’s more in store in the weeks ahead.
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