RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to make landfall on the east coast of Florida overnight as a Category One hurricane. Hurricane warnings are in effect along the Florida coast.
After making landfall the storm is expected to reemerge in the Gulf of Mexico and make a second landfall near the Florida Big Bend region as a tropical storm early Friday morning. From there it will travel up the East Coast and bring rain and possibly some severe weather to Central Virginia.
Friday is a VIPIR ALERT DAY in Central Virginia as Nicole is expected to sweep through the area and a cold front approaches from the west. The last several model runs have had Nicole moving further west, bringing the heaviest of the rain to the mountains and leaving Central Virginia in the warm sector of the storm.
This would give us an increased chance of severe weather and isolated tornadoes Friday afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has put most of Virginia at low-end severe weather risk, although heavy downpours, gusty winds, and a few spin-up tornadoes are possible.
Lastly, there is the possibility that Nicole could track further to the east. In this case, we will see the heaviest rain here in Central Virginia, instead of in the mountains, and the severe threat will be closer to the coast. We will keep an eye on the track throughout the next few days, but it seems likely the storm will stay to our west.