ORLANDO, Fla. – As Tropical Storm Nicole continues to near the east coast of Florida, watches and warnings are now in effect for every county in east Central Florida.
A hurricane warning is in effect for all of Brevard County, coastal Volusia and coastal Flagler counties. This means hurricane conditions can be expected within the next 36 hours. Farther inland, a tropical storm warning is in effect for inland Volusia, Lake, Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. A tropical storm watch is also now in effect for Sumter, Marion and inland Flagler counties.
Nicole will move near southern Brevard County during Wednesday evening, likely moving onto the coast early Thursday morning. The system will bring in rain squalls with scattered storms. These squalls will have wind gusts of 40-60 mph, heavy rainfall with an isolated tornado potential as well.
Storm total rainfall from repeated rounds of heavy rain could produce accumulations of 4-6 inches across coastal counties and 2-5 inches further inland. Some locally higher amounts will be possible.
Nuisance flooding and ponding of water on roadways will be likely. This additional rainfall is expected to stall any decrease in river levels or even cause some slight rises.
Another major concern is the prolonged period of dangerous beach conditions. A storm surge warning is in effect for the entire east Central Florida coast, for the potential of 3-5 feet of surge above ground level and as much 6 feet in spots.
Strong and gusty onshore winds through Wednesday night and Thursday will produce very high seas, rough, pounding surf, large breaking waves and dangerous rip currents.
These winds, high seas, and surf will combine with high tides to bring the threat of significant beach erosion around the next several high tide cycles.
Preparations need to be completed by midday on Wednesday, as conditions will rapidly deteriorate through Thursday.
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