Parts of South Florida were placed under a hurricane watch after Subtropical Storm Nicole formed Monday morning. It is expected to approach the state later in the week.
Nicole has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving northwest at 8 mph about 425 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
A hurricane watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida from Volusia/Brevard County to Hallandale Beach, along Lake Okeechobee.
Governor Ron DeSantis today declared a state of emergency for 34 counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.
“While this storm does not appear, at this time, to be getting much stronger, I urge all Floridians to be prepared and listen to announcements from local emergency management officials,” DeSantis said in a statement.
“We will continue to monitor the track and strength of this storm as it moves toward Florida.”
Nicole will reach hurricane strength on Wednesday as it moves near or over the northwestern Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center said.
Its size will likely cause significant wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts across much of the northwestern Bahamas, Florida, and the southeastern US coast for much of the next week.
The system is expected to move west and cause coastal flooding, tropical storm force winds and heavy rainfall in areas from southern Florida to the Georgia and South Carolina border beginning Wednesday night. Six inches of rain could fall in both Florida and the Bahamas.
Much of Florida is still recovering from Hurricane Ian, which hit the southwestern part of the state on September 28 as a strong Category 4 hurricane and dumped large amounts of rain, causing flooding in central Florida.
Nicole is the 14th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which has already seen seven hurricanes.