Eye of Nicole Makes Landfall South of Vero Beach Around 3 AM; Downgraded to a Tropical Storm Now
Treasure Coast - Thursday November 10, 2022: The eye wall of Nicole first began "brushing" the Treasure Coast north of Port St. Lucie around 1:30 a.m. but the storm didn't make "official" landfall until about 3 a.m. just south of Vero Beach, according to Kevin Rodriguez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne. "The definition of landfall is when the center of the eye comes over land," he said.
Nicole came ashore as a disorganized system, lacking the classic shape of a tightly wrapped cyclone. It briefly hung onto to its classification as a CAT 1 hurricane with no more than 75 mph winds and now has been downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of no more than 70 mph, said Rodriguez.
However, forecasters have emphasized that we should not be focused on the track of Nicole's eye. It is a very large storm with tropical-storm-force winds reaching outward up to 485 miles, especially to the north of the center. Damage and flooding will extend well to the north of the center outside the forecast cone. These hazards are likely to effect much of the Florida peninsula and portions of the southeast U.S.
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge is expected along much of the east coast of Florida and portions of coastal Georgia where a Storm Surge Warning is in effect.
The combination of dangerous storm surge and high tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.
* North Palm Beach to Altamaha Sound including the St. Johns River to the Fuller Warren Bridge...3 to 5 ft
* St. Johns River south of the Fuller Warren Bridge to Georgetown...2 to 4 ft
* Hallandale Beach to North Palm Beach...2 to 4 ft
* North of Ocean Reef to Hallandale Beach including Biscayne Bay...1to 2 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the north of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
RAINFALL: Nicole is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Friday:
* Northwest Bahamas into the eastern, central and northern portions of the Florida Peninsula: 3 to 5 inches with local maxima of 7 inches
* Southeast Georgia into portions of South Carolina: 1 to 4 inches.
* Heavy rainfall from this system will spread north farther up the Eastern Seaboard late Thursday into Friday.
SURF: Large swells generated by Nicole will affect the east coast of Florida, and much of the southeastern United States coast during the next several days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.