Abundant tropical moisture over the Southwest Atlantic could organize into a formidable storm during the workweek and produce significant impacts along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas for an extended period.
The combination of an onshore flow and a dome high pressure to the system’s north will mean easterly to northeasterly winds will drive a substantial amount of water towards coastal communities, which will lead to flooding, especially during periods of high tides.
In addition to the higher seas, the FOX Forecast Center warns heavy rainfall, rough surf, gusty winds and beach erosion will accompany the storm, with impacts starting as early as Election Day and lasting through much of the week.
“We’ll start to have rain move over the Bahamas. Then on Wednesday, some of that rain will start to move into places like Orlando and Miami. So, it’ll be certainly something to watch,” said FOX Weather Meteorologist Kiyana Lewis.
Forecast models show a prolonged wind event with gusts reaching up to at least 40 mph for beaches from Florida to North Carolina.
Once winds reach 40 mph, small tree limb damage starts to occur and driving over high-profile bridges becomes more difficult. Minor pockets of power outages are also possible, especially in areas that are heavily treed.
In addition to the gusty winds, meteorologists will be watching for which communities will see the heaviest rainfall. Some rivers in the Sunshine State are still at elevated levels following the landfall of Hurricane Ian in September and are not capable of receiving much more precipitation.
Heavy rainfall and higher ocean levels could mean additional flooding of low-lying areas, especially during times of high tides.
Forecast models show upwards of half a foot of rain over the next five days is possible along and east of Interstate 95, from north of Miami through Charleston, South Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the disturbed area of weather for tropical development, but regardless of classification, a significant coastal storm will impact the US coast.
“If it develops into a tropical storm or not, we will see a very gusty couple of days along the Southeast coastline. It certainly is not going to be a beach week or a fishing week,” Lewis said.
If the system does earn a name, it would be the fourteenth of the season and be labeled “Nicole.”
A tropical strike during November is not unheard of for the Sunshine State. Hurricane Kate made landfall on November 21, 1985, and holds the record for being the latest in-season strike by a hurricane on the lower 48.