Nicole, now a post-tropical cyclone, is finally losing its tropical cyclone characteristics as it merges with a frontal system over the cold waters of the North Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports. The swells from the system are still expected to affect the US east coast, Atlantic Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands, and the Azores for the next few days, and will likely reach Europe and the northwest coast of Africa. Dangerous surf conditions and rip currents are likely. Nicole's remnants are expected to reach Greenland and Iceland late October 19, 2016, bringing hurricane-force winds and driving snow.
Nicole formed as a tropical storm on October 4, 2016, about 800 km (500 miles) northeast of Puerto Rico and strengthened into a hurricane by October 6. The system peaked as a Category 2 hurricane, with 168.9 km/h (105 mph) winds, a few hours later. After lashing Bermuda, the system set to travel further north over the North Atlantic.
According to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at CSU, specializing in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecast, Nicole has now been a named storm for 13.75 days, which is the longest-lived Atlantic named storm forming after October 1 since 1906.
Nicole was located about 1 030 km (640 miles) east of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and moving toward the north-northeast at about 50 km/h (31 mph) on October 18 at 09:00 UTC, according to the NHC. The system was packing maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h (65 mph) and gusts up to 120.4 km/h (74.8 mph) while its minimum central pressure was estimated at 969 hPa. The winds of tropical force extend up to 555 km (345 miles) away from the center.
The general motion of the system is expected to continue through the night of October 19, and little change in strength is forecast before the post-tropical cyclone is absorbed by another low pressure area during the night of October 19 or 20.
Nicole will complete its extratropical transition over the next 12 hours, and continue as a vigorous extratropical storm through the next 36 hours, before getting absorbed by the other extratropical low.
Post-tropical cyclone Nicole 24-hour forecast track. Image credit: NWS/NOAA/NHC
5-day Tropical Storm Force Wind Speed Probabilities, October 18 to October 23, 2016. Image credit: NOAA/NWS/NHC
Nicole (15L) - full track with Suomi NPP satellite image on Google Earth - October 17, 2016. Credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP/VIIRS, Google
Large swells generated by Nicole will continue affecting the US east coast, the coast of Atlantic Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands, and the Azores over the next couple of days. NHC warns the dangerous surf conditions and rip currents should be expected.
The swells from Nicole will also likely reach Europe and the African northwest coast over the next day or two.
Nicole's remnants are expected to reach Greenland and Iceland late October 19, bringing hurricane-force winds and driving snow.
Featured image: Post-tropical cyclone Nicole, October 18, 2016, 10:15 UTC. Image credit: UW-CIMSS