At 8:00 AM the center of Tropical Storm Nicole was
located near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 76.2 West. Nicole is
moving toward the west-southwest near 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn
toward the west is expected today, followed by a turn toward the
northwest on Thursday, and north or north-northeast on Friday. On
the forecast track, the center of Nicole will approach the
northwestern Bahamas this morning, move near or over those islands
by midday, and approach the east coast of Florida within the
hurricane warning area tonight. Nicole’s center is then expected to
move across central and northern Florida into southern Georgia
Thursday and Thursday night, and then across the Carolinas Friday
and Friday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher
gusts. Some strengthening is expected today, and Nicole is forecast
to become a hurricane near the northwestern Bahamas and remain a
hurricane when it reaches the east coast of Florida tonight. Nicole
is expected to weaken while moving across Florida and the
southeastern United States Thursday through Friday, and it is likely
to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night over the
Mid-Atlantic states.

Nicole is a large tropical storm. Tropical-storm-force winds
extend outward up to 460 miles (740 km) especially to the north of
the center. During the past few hours, a National Ocean Service
station at the Lake Worth Pier, Florida, reported sustained winds
of 44 mph (71 km/h) and a wind gust of 55 mph (89 km/h).

The minimum central pressure reported by a NOAA Hurricane
Hunter aircraft is 986 mb (29.12 inches).