MIAMI – Nicole is moving into west-central Florida after making landfall early Thursday morning off the state’s east coast.
The storm made landfall as a hurricane around 3 a.m. south of Vero Beach with winds of 75 mph.
As of 10 a.m., Tropical Storm Nicole’s winds had weakened to 50 mph, and was located about 30 miles northeast of Tampa, moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour
Tropical storm force winds extended 345 miles from the center, especially to the northeast.
The wind of the storm whipped the waves andpart of Anglin’s Fishing Pier in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will continue to move across west-central Florida Thursday morning and emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico in the afternoon. The center should then move across the state’s Panhandle and Georgia Thursday night and then across the southeastern United States on Friday.
A small change in strength is expected while Nicole is over the Gulf of Mexico in the afternoon and evening. Nicole is expected to weaken into a depression while in Georgia.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for…
* Sebastian Inlet on South Santee River South Carolina
* Englewood to Indian Pass
A storm surge warning is in effect for…
* Sebastian Inlet in Altamaha Sound, Georgia
* Mouth of the river St. Johns in Georgetown, Florida
* Anclote River to Ochlockonee River
A storm surge watch is in effect for…
* Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass
* Altamaha Sound, Georgia to South Santee River, South Carolina
Since record-keeping began in 1853, Florida has only had two hurricanes make landfall in November, said Maria Torres, spokeswoman for the Hurricane Center. The first was Hurricane Yankee in 1935, and the second was Hurricane Kate, which hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 2 storm in 1985.
The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on November 30.