Carolinas brace for Nicole’s fierce winds, rough surf, heavy rains and flooding

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

Subtropical Storm Nicole could bring damaging winds, heavy rains, rough surf and flooding to much of the southeastern U.S. coast this week, National Hurricane Center officials warned Monday.

In the Charlotte region, heavy rains are possible Thursday into late Friday, according to a hazardous weather outlook advisory issued before 5 a.m. Monday by the National Weather Service office in Greer, South Carolina.

“Confidence remains low as to which areas may see heavy rainfall,” according to the advisory.

Hurricane forecast for Nicole

“Nicole is forecast to be a large storm,” according to a National Hurricane Center bulletin at 7 a.m. Monday.

“And regardless of its exact path, widespread impacts from a prolonged period of coastal flooding, tropical-storm-force winds, rough surf and rip currents, and beach erosion are likely along much of the southeastern United States coast, the Florida east coast and portions of the northwestern and central Bahamas during much of the upcoming week,” center forecasters said in the bulletin.

By 7 a.m. Monday, Nicole packed 45-mph winds about 520 miles east of the northwestern Bahamas, according to the center.

“Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Nicole could be near or at hurricane intensity by Wednesday or Wednesday night while it is moving near the northwestern Bahamas,” National Hurricane Center officials said in the bulletin.

The center of Nicole is expected to “approach the northwestern Bahamas on Tuesday, move near or over those islands on Wednesday, and approach the east coast of Florida by Wednesday night,” according to the center.

Heavy rains are expected across parts of Florida and the southeastern U.S. by mid- to late week, National Hurricane Center officials said.

Heavy rain

The Carolinas will see rain from the system, with the heaviest bands anticipated at the coast, NWS meteorologist Andrew Kimball previously told The Charlotte Observer.

In the Triangle, the NWS forecast calls for sunny and warm conditions — with high temperatures near 80 — through Tuesday before temperatures return to near normal on Wednesday. The first real chance of rain in the Triangle is Thursday, according to the NWS.

But much of Eastern North Carolina should expect “strong onshore winds ... with marine hazards and minor to moderate coastal impacts” when the storm front arrives, National Weather Service meteorologists said on Twitter Saturday morning.

Tidal flooding is a primary concern from the storm, the South Carolina State Climatology Office said in a bulletin Friday, “whether or not we are dealing with a tropical storm or non-tropical gale center moving our way or nearby to our southeast.”

Charlotte, Rock Hill forecast

Charlotte should remain sunny to mostly sunny until clouds from the Caribbean storm are expected to roll into the region late Wednesday, according to the NWS Charlotte forecast at 9 a.m. Monday.

Thursday should be partly sunny, with a 40% chance of showers late Thursday, a 60% chance all day Friday and a 40% chance Friday night, according to the forecast.

Saturday should be sunny with a high of 67, NWS meteorologists said.

Highs in Charlotte are expected to bounce around through the week, from a predicted 79 Monday to 66 Tuesday, 61 Wednesday and 68 Thursday and Friday, according to the NWS forecast. Sunday’s high could plummet to 52, NWS meteorologists said.

Rock Hill has a 40% chance of showers late Thursday and a 60% chance on Friday, with a predicted high of 69 both days, NWS meteorologists said.

Saturday’s high in Rock Hill is forecast to dip to 68 degrees and Sunday’s to 54. Both days should be sunny, forecasters said.

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