Hurricane #Nicole makes landfall

Hurricane (now tropical storm) Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach this morning at 3am ET. While there are areas of hurricane force winds offshore, the wind field is huge, with all of the land reports I have seen so far in the tropical storm category. Here is what it looks like on radar at 5am …

MRMS radar composite; click to embiggen.

and on infrared satellite (the sun isn’t up yet!):

InfraRed (cloud top temperatures).

Here are the links to NHC’s Key Messages regarding Tropical Storm Nicole (en Español: Mensajes Claves), and below is the impact swath based on the 5am official forecast and my TAOS/TC model:

It looks like Nicole will have economic impacts on the order of $2.2 to $2.8 Billion dollars. Something like $500 to $800 billion of that probably wouldn’t have happened had it not been for Hurricane Ian; that is damage and other impacts that occurred due to interrupted repairs and a disrupted recovery process. I wouldn’t expect to see dramatic damage aside from isolated spots, but such a wide area is impacted it adds up quickly.

GA/SC Update: Fortunately for the GA/SC coast, it looks like the more inland track, combined with other factors such as a collapsing wind field, will mean impacts will not be significantly worse that what you are seeing out your windows this morning. The only difference is the rain bands, which may be locally heavy and produce isolated floodings in the usual places. Still also a chance for an isolated weak tornado. Keep your weather radio armed – but aside from knowing where you would go to seek shelter (the best protection is a small, interior, windowless room or basement on the lowest level of a sturdy building) it’s not something to get overly stressed about. Maybe some scattered power outages.

Right on the coast, the highest expected tide is this morning’s high tide. At Fort Pulaski it should top out at around 10 feet, which is moderate flood stage. From NWS: At 10.0 ft MLLW, moderate coastal flooding occurs. Shipyard Rd will be impassable, isolating residents on Burnside Island. Water will start to encroach on HW-80 and as the tide gets closer to 10.5 ft MLLW, could begin to cover portions of the roadway. Flooding will expand on Tybee Island and Catalina Dr and Lewis Ave will be impassable. Flooding will also impact Wilmington Island, the Coffee Bluff community, Ossabaw Island, Sapelo Island, and portions of HW-17 south of Darien. I don’t think US80 will get water on it this time, if so it won’t be much (Update at 10:30am: the water levels did spike briefly to 10.5 feet, and US80 got water on it. Shouldn’t last long). Tomorrow (Friday) high tide should be back to normal.

This should be mostly over by late tonight for the coast as the center passes off to the west, maybe some remaining gusts and rain in the morning but shouldn’t be anything serious by then.

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