MIAMI (HPD) — Subtropical Storm Nicole has formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is threatening the Bahamas and the southeastern coast of the United States, the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned Monday.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the northwestern Bahamas, including Andros Islands, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos, Berry, Grand Bahama and Bimini, forecasters said.
As of 5 a.m. Monday, the storm was about 555 miles (890 kilometers) east of the northwestern Bahamas, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kilometers per hour), the hurricane center said.
“It is not ruled out that Nicole could become a hurricane, especially considering how warm the waters are near the Bahamas,” the center said.
“We must emphasize, however, that regardless of how intense Nicole is, her sheer size will likely cause strong winds, storm surge and rain across much of the northwestern Bahamas, Florida, and the southeastern US coast next week,” he added. .
Experts advised residents of the central Bahamas, Florida and the southeastern United States to monitor the storm’s progress. More alerts are likely to be issued by the end of Monday, the agency said.
The storm is expected to cause heavy rains in the northwestern Bahamas Tuesday through Thursday, and impact Florida and other coastal areas of the United States by mid-week and weekends.
Much of Florida is still recovering from the destructive Hurricane Ian, which hit the southwestern part of the state on September 28 as a strong Category 4 hurricane.
The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on November 30.