WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — Hurricane Nicole is hours away from making landfall on the Florida coast and there are changes with the 10 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm has started to make its right turn, to the north. It's now moving to the west-northwest, instead of west, at 13 mph.
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CBS12 meteorologist Michael Ehrenberg has details on Hurricane Nicole’s new track and how it’s affecting Florida at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. (WPEC)
The center of Nicole is about 75 miles east-northeast of West Palm Beach, but the center doesn’t make too much of a difference with such a large storm.
Nicole is still expected to make landfall in Florida overnight, in the early hours of Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds now extend 25 miles from the center, while tropical storm-force winds extend up to 485 miles away, especially to the north of the center.
Nicole’s maximum sustained winds remain at 75 mph, but with that slight turn to the north, Broward County is no longer under a hurricane watch. (The tropical storm warning remains.)
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The hurricane warning from Palm Beach County, up the coast to Volusia County, remains, but it was expanded in Palm Beach County, late Wednesday afternoon.
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The warning area now stretches west from the coast to U.S. 411. Earlier, it had only reached U.S. 1.
All of Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties remain under the hurricane warning.
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There’s a tropical storm warning for Okeechobee County, Lake Okeechobee, and Broward County.
The hurricane watch for Lake Okeechobee remains. It was discontinued for Broward County.
There’s a storm surge warning for North Palm Beach, up the coast to Georgia, and a storm surge watch from south of North Palm Beach down to all of Broward County.
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A few minutes before noon, Tropical Storm Nicole made landfall on Great Abaco Island in the Northwest Bahamas with maximum winds of 70 mph and a central minimum pressure of 985 mb.
Nicole became a hurricane near Grand Bahama Island during a special 6 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
After making landfall in Florida, Nicole will weaken while moving inland.
RELATED: These counties are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders
Take note of upcoming high tides and don’t get trapped by rising water.
Expect storm surge of 2 to 4 feet from North Palm Beach south, including Broward County, and 3 to 5 feet from North Palm Beach north to Georgia.
Avoid the deepest water. That’ll be along the immediate coast near and to the north of landfall, and come with large, destructive waves.
People living in mobile homes or on the barrier islands have been urged to evacuate.
In Palm Beach County, Zone A is the mainland, where authorities urged those people — and those in homes with substandard construction or in a flood-prone area — to evacuate.
Zone B is the barrier islands and a mandatory evacuation has been issued. The evacuation order for the barrier islands went into effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
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In Martin County, there are voluntary evacuations for people who live in Evacuation Zones A and B. That includes homes on the barrier islands (Hutchinson Island and Jupiter Island), Sewall’s Point, and manufactured/mobile homes, as well as homes in low-lying, vulnerable areas.
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St. Lucie County Public Safety officials "strongly recommend" evacuations for people on the barrier island, low-lying areas along the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, and those living in manufactured/mobile homes and RVs.
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Indian River County issued a recommended evacuation, effective Wednesday morning. Evacuation is recommended for areas east of U.S. 1 (including the barrier islands); low-lying, flood-prone areas; people in mobile homes or other vulnerable housing; and people with special medical needs.
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They report winds and rainfall will be the greatest threat along the coast with the strongest winds along the Treasure Coast.
Also, the storm surge is expected to be the greatest threat north of the center of the storm.
Right now, this will primarily be a coastal impact with coastal flooding expected along with beach erosion as we approach the full moon phase and see higher-than-normal tides.
Wednesday night, Nicole started to turn from the west toward the west-northwest. It'll continue the turn, heading to the northwest on Thursday, and then north or north-northeast on Friday.
That forecast has the center of Nicole making landfall early Thursday morning, within a few hours of midnight.
Then, it should move across central and northern Florida, and into southern Georgia, Thursday and Thursday night, followed by the Carolinas on Friday.