RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Former Tropical Storm Nicole has now become a category 1 hurricane before it makes landfall in Florida later tonight.
Hurricane warnings remain in effect for much of the east coast of Florida — as well as a tropical storm warning for regions as far north as the Georgia and South Carolina state line.
The storm is currently moving west-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained wind speeds of 75 mph. At its current speed and trajectory, Nicole is expected to make landfall at around midnight before crossing the state to the Tampa Bay side.
At the time of arrival, Nicole will have the latest hurricane landfall in November ever recorded on Florida’s east coast — and only the fifth hurricane since the 1850s to make landfall in the U.S. in November.
After moving across Florida, the storm will move northeast and reach Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday afternoon. By then, Nicole will have lost its tropical structure, moving along the Blue Ridge Mountains by Friday evening.
Also on Friday, the remains of the storm will be drawn up into Virginia by a strong cold front approaching from the west. Nicole is expected to move through the western part of the Commonwealth, bringing heavy rain. To the east, the storm will cause a “warm sector,” meaning a higher risk for severe weather.
The first round will arrive in Central Virginia in the morning to early afternoon. Then, as the day warms up, squalls will develop to the west and pass through the area during the evening hours.
In addition, there will be gusty winds — starting in the southwest before taking over the whole region.
Sunday is still expected to be dry in time for the Richmond Marathon but gusty weather may remain.