Tropical Storm Nicole is pelting the northwestern Bahamas with heavy rainfall as it heads in the direction of eastern Florida, where it is predicted to turn into a hurricane and make landfall early Thursday morning.
The storm will bring heavy rains, pounding winds and potentially tornados to areas of Florida still recovering from the trail of devastation left by Hurricane Ian, CNN reported.
Nicole’s center has winds of upwards of 70 mph, only 4 mph from being designated a hurricane. On Wednesday afternoon, it made its way over Great Abaco island in the Bahamas. It will next hit Grand Bahama island, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
Meteorologists believe that Nicole will become a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall in Florida, likely near Port St. Lucie after midnight, the US National Hurricane Center predicted.
The storm would be the first November hurricane to make landfall in the US in nearly four decades. The hurricane would impact around 4 million Floridians who live on the state’s east coast and are currently under hurricane warnings.
Tropical storm level winds of up to 73 mph were already blowing through areas of eastern Florida’s coast on Wednesday morning, according to the US National Hurricane Center. There were also reports of flooding, with drivers having to steer through ankle-deep floodwater in West Palm Beach, WPEC reported.