Nicole has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm with sustained winds near 50 mph with higher gusts.
“Deep convection has developed and persisted near the center of Nicole this morning and while there are still some characteristics of a subtropical cyclone, the smaller radius of maximum winds and improving inner-core convection suggests it has made the transition to a tropical cyclone,” said the National Hurricane Center.
According to the National Hurricane Center, strengthening is expected during the next 36 to 48 hours, and Nicole is forecast to be near or at hurricane strength by Wednesday and Wednesday night while it is moving near the northwestern Bahamas and approaching the east coast of Florida.
Hurricane conditions are expected in the northwestern Bahamas within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions beginning across all of the northwestern Bahamas by tonight.
Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area along the east coast of Florida Wednesday night with tropical storm conditions expected by tonight or early Wednesday within the tropical storm and hurricane warning areas.
Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area on Wednesday night and Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area along the west coast of Florida by Wednesday night.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued from Boca Raton to the Flagler/Volusia County Line. A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Flagler/Volusia County Line to Ponte Vedra Beach.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from Altamaha Sound to the Savannah River.
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued from Altamaha Sound Georgia to the Savannah River and from Anclote River Florida to Suwannee River Florida.
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.