Tropical Cyclone (15L) Nicole remains active…located about 350 miles south of Bermuda
Tropical Storm 15L (Nicole) is likely to become a category 1 hurricane tonight…with a close pass by Bermuda early Thursday
TS Nicole will move north, then north-northeast and finally northeast, in the direction of Bermuda, and is expected to become a hurricane tonight…and impact Bermuda with heavy weather conditions.
It appears Nicole will have a short window for significant strengthening before it approaches Bermuda Thursday. Wind shear will lower from its current 20-30 knots, to around 5-10 knots tomorrow.
As these conditions transpire, Nicole will be moving over near record warm waters of the North Atlantic, with sea-surface temperatures of 82-84F degrees.
The GFS, European, and UKMET models all suggest that Nicole will move over or very close to Bermuda Thursday, with the European and UKMET models suggesting that TC Nicole could be a category 2 storm then.
Tropical Storm 15L is currently moving north-northwest at near 5 mph, with another satellite image
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), TS Nicole’s cloud pattern has improved this morning, with several bands of convection wrapping around the center. Recent microwave imagery has revealed a well-defined low-level eye feature, and there are hints of a ragged banding eye forming in last few visible satellite pictures.
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is currently en route to investigate Nicole, and the data they collect should provide a better estimate of the cyclone intensity and size this afternoon. The wind shear that has been plaguing Nicole during the past several days has weakened, and is expected to remain low during the next day or so.
This, along with warm waters along the forecast track, should allow for strengthening during the 36 to 48 hours, and Nicole is predicted to become a hurricane later today or tonight. Later in the forecast period, some weakening is predicted due to cooler waters and increasing shear, but Nicole is expected to become a powerful extratropical cyclone over the North Atlantic.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
A Hurricane Warning will likely be required for Bermuda this afternoon.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions are possible on Bermuda by Wednesday night. Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin on Bermuda Wednesday afternoon.
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce coastal flooding in Bermuda. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
RAINFALL: Nicole is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches over Bermuda through Thursday.
SURF: Swells associated with Nicole will affect Bermuda during the next few days. These swells will create dangerous surf conditions and rip currents.
Tropical Cyclone 15L (Nicole)