Tropical Cyclone (15L) Nicole remains active…located about 295 miles south-southwest of Bermuda
Hurricane 15L (Nicole) will make a close pass, or impact Bermuda directly Thursday at a category 2 level
This is the second time since Nicole formed back on October 4th, that it has strengthened into a hurricane.
Last Thursday, Nicole briefly became the sixth hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, well south of Bermuda. The system’s organization increased then, which led to an upgrade to category 2 status.
There have only been seven Category 2 or stronger hurricanes, within 65 miles of Hamilton, Bermuda…dating back to 1950.
Damaging winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge flooding are potential impacts. Tropical storm conditions (39-73 mph winds) are expected in Bermuda tonight, with hurricane conditions (74+ mph winds) potentially arriving by early Thursday.
Heavy rainfall are forecast to fall over Bermuda, with 4-8 inches of rain expected through Thursday.
Hurricane 15L is currently moving north at near 7 mph
Here’s the looping radar image from Bermuda
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the satellite presentation of the hurricane has changed very little during the past 6 to 12 hours. Nicole remains a very symmetric hurricane with a distinct 30 NM wide eye.
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew through the storm this morning and recorded peak winds of 91 knots. Since the aircraft only sampled a small portion of the circulation, the initial intensity is set 85 knots. The aircraft data indicate that Nicole has grown in size since yesterday, and the initial and forecast wind radii have been adjusted accordingly.
Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for some strengthening while Nicole approaches Bermuda during the next day or so. After that time, increasing southwesterly shear and cooler sea surface temperatures are expected to induce weakening.
Nicole is forecast to interact with a frontal boundary in about 72 hours, but it is not clear as to whether Nicole will complete its transformation into an extratropical low by days 4 and 5. For now, the NHC forecast maintains persistence with the previous advisories and predicts Nicole to lose tropical characteristics by 96 hours, but remain an intense storm system over the north Atlantic. T
The aircraft and satellite fixes indicate that the hurricane has turned northward, and Nicole should stay on this heading with some increase in forward speed today. The hurricane will become embedded within the mid-latitude flow on Thursday, which should steer Nicole northeastward with an additional increase in forward speed. The NHC forecast is once again very close to the previous advisory, and shows the core of Nicole passing near or over Bermuda between 24 and 36 hours.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to begin on Bermuda Thursday morning, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin this evening or tonight.
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 8 feet above normal tide levels in Bermuda. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
RAINFALL: Nicole is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 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.
TORNADOES: Isolated tornadoes are possible on Bermuda tonight and early Thursday.
Tropical Cyclone 15L (Nicole)