Subtropical Storm Nicole is on track to become a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches Florida

<strong>Subtropical Storm Nicole is on track to become a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches Florida</strong>

A powerful storm with torrential rains and damaging winds could hit Florida’s east coast as a Category 1 hurricane this week, while many residents are still reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Subtropical Storm Nicole is expected to slowly strengthen as it approaches the Florida panhandle, bringing heavy rain that could bring dangerous storm surge and high winds starting Wednesday, according to Jamie Rhome, acting director of the National Hurricane Center. 

“We’re probably going to have a good chunk of the Florida panhandle affected by these conditions,” Rhome said Monday in an informational video posted online.

More than 20 million people are under tropical storm warnings from Hallandale Beach, Florida, to Altamaha Sound, Georgia, according to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford. In addition, a tropical storm warning has been issued for Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, he said.

Additionally, more than 5 million people are under storm surge warnings from North Palm Beach north to Altamaha Sound, including the mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown, Shackelford added.

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 8 million people were under a hurricane watch in Florida, Shackelford said. The storm is expected to make landfall Thursday morning over West Palm Beach, he said.

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