It’s Nicole’s last day as the giant circulation finally loosens its grip on Florida
Nicole has weakened below tropical storm status, but it still has a monstrous, impressive circulation and a few leftover gusty winds to give it tropical depression status for a while longer. By late today or tomorrow, a cold front advancing from the west and its associated strong dip in the jet stream will absorb what’s left of Nicole. Together they will spread rain toward the Mid-Atlantic and New England later today and tomorrow.
Rain will be especially heavy over the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains as the combo system moves north. The flooding threat will continue as the tropical moisture expands north.
Ocean and Gulf water levels have mostly receded, although high-tide flooding will linger in low-lying areas where there continues to be a steady onshore wind. In addition, in areas where the water was pushed inland, it will take some time to return to a normal level.
Remember that tidal flooding is salt water and is corrosive to metal. Even driving through salt-water puddles is terrible for your car, let alone flooded streets.
The tropics are back in wintertime mode – covered with dry air and hostile upper winds. The odds are they will stay that way, but freak things can happen, as we just saw.
An extremely unusual confluence of northern and tropical weather systems came together in just the wrong place to produce Nicole - a storm unlike any in our record book. The only other November hurricane to hit the east coast of Florida that we know of occurred in 1935, and that was a very different kind of freaky storm.
The 1935 Yankee hurricane was a tropical storm near Bermuda, became a hurricane as it headed toward North Carolina, and then turned south and went over downtown Miami. That was pretty much off-the-charts weird.
Hurricane Nicole reiterated the lessons we learned from Hurricane Ian. Every hurricane is different. Don’t let the cone mislead you about where the dangerous conditions could occur. And pay attention to the warnings issued by the National Hurricane Center. The warnings tell you where the danger is.
Let's hope Hurricane Season 2022 has come to an end.