Hurricane Nicole three-day forecast track, NHC/NOAA graphic
By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA -- Hurricane Nicole continued to strengthen on Tuesday, as a hurricane warning was issued for Bermuda. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin on Bermuda by Wednesday night, with tropical storm conditions beginning Wednesday afternoon.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT on Tuesday, the eye of Hurricane Nicole was located about 350 miles (565 km) south-southwest of Bermuda, moving toward the northwest near 5 mph (7 km/h). A northwest to north-northwest motion was expected on Tuesday night, with a turn towards the north and an increase in forward speed on Wednesday morning, followed by a northeast turn late Wednesday.
On the forecast track, the centre of Nicole is expected to approach Bermuda on Wednesday night and pass near Bermuda on Thursday.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Nicole is forecast to be near major hurricane strength by late Wednesday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).
A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce coastal flooding in Bermuda. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
Nicole is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches over Bermuda through Thursday.
Swells associated with Nicole will affect Bermuda during the next few days. These swells will create dangerous surf conditions and rip currents.