(WKBN) — This morning, the National Hurricane Center declared the formation of Nicole in the Atlantic Ocean. Nicole is currently forecasted to make landfall on the U.S. coast, and will have an impact on the long term weather pattern in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the form of much colder weather.
However, will the Valley see any impacts from the storm itself? I will go over the forecasted path below
First of all, Nicole is *technically* a subtropical storm. What is a subtropical storm? Well, there are two main categories of cyclones: extratropical and tropical. Extratropical cyclones are the ones that usually affect our part of the world with cold air at the center and cold/warm fronts.
Tropical cyclones have warm air in the center and do not have a cold or warm front. However, meteorology does not exist in a box and the difference between extratropical and tropical storms exists on a spectrum. Occasionally, a storm will exist that is somewhere in between tropical and extratropical. These storms are called subtropical.
Nicole will transition into a purely tropical system within the next 24 hours.
Current conditions for Nicole
Currently, Nicole is a weak tropical system with sustained winds of 40 knots. There is significant vertical wind shear that is limiting Nicole’s strength. The wind shear will decrease over the next couple of days and this will allow thunderstorms to form over Nicole’s center which will strengthen the storm.
Nicole’s forecasted path
Nicole will continue to move west due to a high pressure system that will strengthen to the north and east of the storm. Right now, Nicole is forecasted to strengthen into a category 1 hurricane during the day on Wednesday. Then, it will weaken to a tropical storm and make landfall along the western coast of Florida late Wednesday night into the day on Thursday. The overview of the forecasted path from the National Hurricane Center is shown below:
What happens to Nicole after landfall?
Nicole will push further west into the Gulf of Mexico during the day on Thursday where it will try to regain some of its strength. However, a strong low pressure system in the northern Great Plains will begin to make an impact on the path of Nicole. The aforementioned storm system will result in a northeast acceleration of Nicole up the eastern coast of the United States.
Right now, the forecast models are in fantastic agreement that Nicole will spend a brief amount of time over the Gulf of Mexico before quickly accelerating up the coast of the eastern United States. The image below is called a “Spaghetti Plot” and it shows all of the different forecast model tracks of Nicole through Saturday morning. Notice that most of the tracks have Nicole along the Georgia/South Carolina border by Saturday morning.
What does this mean for Ohio and Pennsylvania?
While the low pressure center of Nicole is going to race well off to the east, another storm system to the north and west will merge with Nicole and bring some impacts to the Valley. The cold front from the low pressure system out west will phase with Nicole and bring rain chances to the Valley on Friday for Veteran’s day.
How much rain? Well, that much is uncertain at this point. First, we can set the stage. The Storm Team 27 Future Tracker shows the phase of the low pressure system and Nicole below
The amount of rainfall produced by Nicole will depend on how quickly Nicole phases with the cold front. If it happens early (like in the video), then rain will be likely across the Valley. However, there are other models that have the phase occurring later which could limit rainfall totals across the area.
The main difference is between the European forecast model (shown above) and the American forecast model. The forecasted rainfall totals from both of these models are shown below.
American Forecast Model
European forecast model
The rainfall timing and amounts will become more clear in the next couple of days. Stay tuned to WKBN for the latest on tropical storm Nicole.