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Nicole weakens to tropical storm after making landfall as Category 1 hurricane

Tropical storm warning ends for Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast, south of Sebastian Inlet
Tropical Storm Nicole, 1 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2022.jpg
Posted at 1:15 AM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 13:04:00-05

MIAMI — Nicole continues to weaken on Thursday after making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane just south of Vero Beach.

The National Hurricane Center said a tropical storm warning has been discontinued for Palm Beach County and the entire Treasure Coast, south of Sebastian Inlet.

A hurricane watch for Lake Okeechobee has been discontinued, along with a storm surge warning for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, south of Sebastian Inlet.

Nicole made landfall around 3 a.m. Thursday on North Hutchinson Island, just south of Vero Beach, bringing whipping winds, heavy downpours, and dangerous storm surge to Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.

According to the 1 p.m. advisory from the NHC, Nicole has weakened with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.

Nicole

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Hurricane Center | WPTV Hurricane Guide

Strong winds and heavy rain continue to spread across the state, but Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are clearing after a wet Wednesday.

"This is a storm that lost a lot of its energy when very dry air wrapped around the center," WPTV First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Steve Weagle said. "That happened in the last six hours and lost a lot of punch."

A fallen gumbo limbo tree in Boynton Beach from Hurricane Nicole, Nov. 10, 2022.jpg
A fallen gumbo limbo tree in Boynton Beach from Hurricane Nicole, Nov. 10, 2022.

IMAGES: Tropical Storm Nicole's impacts in South Florida

The NHC said Nicole will continue to move across the west central Florida peninsula and emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon.

The center should then move across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia Thursday night, and then move through the southeastern United States on Friday.

Officials in Indian River County closed the bridges to the barrier islands just after midnight Thursday because they determined they were impassible by non-emergency traffic.

Those bridges reopened just after 5 a.m., the county announced.

Bridges to Hutchinson Island in St. Lucie County are now open. However, Indian River Drive remains closed from Walton Road south to the county line as crews work to clear downed power lines and debris.

Nicole

A weather station near Stuart Beach recorded a wind gust of 62 miles per hour, while a station at the Juno Beach Pier reported a gust of 55 miles per hour.

A station at the Sebastian Inlet had a gust of 66 miles per hour, and Vero Beach had a gust of 58 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

Nicole

WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Kahtia Hall said conditions will continue to improve in Palm Beach County and across the Treasure Coast on Thursday, saying the "worst of the weather is out of here."

"Just a stray thunderstorm possible this afternoon," Hall said. "As Nicole pulls away, we'll start to see some slightly drier air move in."

Nicole is expected to weaken while moving across Florida and the southeastern U.S. on Thursday through Friday, and it's likely to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday afternoon.

Nicole is only the fourth November hurricane to ever make landfall in the U.S., according to official records. The other three occurred in 1861, 1985, and 1935.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for:

  • Sebastian Inlet to South Santee River, South Carolina
  • The middle of Longboat Key to Indian Pass

A storm surge warning is in effect for:

  • Sebastian Inlet to Altamaha Sound, Georgia
  • Mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown
  • Anclote River to Ochlockonee River

A storm surge watch is in effect for:

  • Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass
  • Altamaha Sound, Georgia to South Santee River, South Carolina
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