TRACK, SATELLITE, MODELS: Nicole weakens to tropical storm after Florida landfall

Orlando area to see heavy rain, strong winds

ORLANDO, Fla.Nicole weakened to a tropical storm from being a Category 1 hurricane Thursday morning after making landfall near Vero Beach.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s latest update at 1 p.m., Nicole was 45 miles northeast of Tampa, moving northwest at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

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Nicole’s center is expected to move across the west central Florida peninsula this morning and emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon. The center should then move across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia tonight, and then move through the southeastern U.S. on Friday.


Nicole is expected to weaken to a depression over Georgia tonight, and then it is expected to merge with a frontal boundary over the Mid-Atlantic United States by Friday night.

Tropical storm force winds extended as far as 345 miles (555 kilometers) from the center, especially to the north.

[RELATED: COUNTY-BY-COUNTY: Here’s what impacts Central Florida could see from Nicole]

We can expect impacts across Central Florida, including beach erosion, high seas and rip currents. Rain could add up and lead to more flooding in areas that flooded during Hurricane Ian.

Expect 90% rain chances for Wednesday and Thursday and a 40% chance of rain on Veterans Day on Friday.

The forecast calls for a dry weekend, with highs in the low 80s Saturday and the low 70s on Sunday.

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About the Authors:

From chasing tornadoes and tracking the tropics, to forecasting ice storms and other dangerous weather, Troy Bridges has covered it all.

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.