Bermuda braces itself for Hurricane Nicole

A new tropical storm strengthens in the Atlantic in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

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    Tropical Storm Nicole is set to strengthen in the coming 24 hours, triggering swell and rough conditions [AFP]
    Tropical Storm Nicole is set to strengthen in the coming 24 hours, triggering swell and rough conditions [AFP]

    Hurricane Matthew is now fizzling out in the open waters of the North Atlantic, but we have another developing system in the near vicinity.

    Tropical Storm Nicole is currently to the south of Bermuda with winds around 95 kilometres per hour. It is currently tracking north at 7km/h and is expected to become a hurricane by 06:00 GMT on Wednesday.

    Current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center suggest that the storm will reach its peak on Thursday morning with sustained winds around 150km/h and gusts nearer 185km/h. This will make it a strong Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

    A hurricane watch is in force for Bermuda. The island nation can expect to feel the effects of Nicole within the next 48 hours.

    As it will be a Category 1 storm we can expect dangerous winds. The NHC guidance states that "well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles are likely to result in power outages that could last a few to several days."

    There will also be heavy seas along with dangerous surf and rip currents. Conditions will be nasty for a time but by no means devastating.

    We can expect the name Nicole to appear on future hurricane lists. Deadly Matthew, on the other hand, will be never be used again. Both Haiti and the east coast of the US will be dealing with Matthew's legacy for months or even years to come.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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