Tropics Watch: Why was Hurricane Nicole so bad as a Category 1 storm?

No new development expected in next 5 days

This highlights the importance to look at the forecast impacts rather than just the category of the storm.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricane Nicole wasn’t the typical Florida hurricane or tropical storm.

While Nicole’s winds were not even close to Ian’s, Nicole was able to generate extreme damage from its storm surge.

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Nicole’s field of tropical storm-force winds extended more than 400 miles out from the center of the storm.

The large wind field and the time that the wind spent over the southwest Atlantic allowed Nicole to generate a destructive storm surge. The consistent east and northeast winds battered the east coast of Florida for days, pushing the Atlantic Ocean further and further inland as the storm moved closer.

The worst of the damage when it came to Nicole was north of where the storm made landfall, different from the typical hurricane.

Aiding in the storm surge damage was the fact king tides were present. King tides are higher-than-normal astronomical high tides. The full moon the Tuesday prior to landfall set the stage for disaster.

In addition, Hurricane Ian damaged or destroyed much of the infrastructure six weeks prior, which left the shoreline mostly unprotected.

This highlights the importance to look at the forecast impacts rather than just the category of the storm.

There is no new development expected over the next five days.

[WATCH: Drone shows wreckage of Florida beachfront homes ruined by Nicole]


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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.