Editor's note: Subtropical Storm Nicole officially formed on Monday morning. It could reach hurricane strength, experts say.
The large mass of clouds in the Atlantic is slowly becoming better organized. Note the red X on the NOAA satellite picture, below—it's pretty easy to see a center forming around it.
With the sea surface temperatures much higher than normal, I expect this mass of clouds to become yet another named storm by tomorrow.
What happens next is driven by a blocking high pressure ridge to the north that will be getting stronger, too. That high-pressure system will drive the storm toward the southeast Florida coastline instead of causing it to move north or northeast off the U.S. coastline, as would be more common.
Atmospheric and sea surface temperatures are favorable for development of this system, and the rate of development will be key. It looks to me that the storm will become a hurricane before it reaches the southeast Florida coast. Additionally, the geographical size the developing storm large. That mix of atmospheric and sea surface temperatures can certainly support Category 1 to Category 3 hurricanes.
There is a chance for rapid development before the storm arrives; I will talk more about this possibility in tomorrow's update, so stay tuned. But in short, the storm is likely to move across Florida and gradually turn to the north, impacting much of the state from Wednesday in the southeast to Friday in the north.
For the Suncoast, it is becoming probable that gales force winds and heavy flooding rains will be our impact—at minimum. More serious impacts are possible, so this is the time to stay vigilant.
Here we go again!
Bob Bunting is a scientist, entrepreneur and educator and the CEO of the nation’s first Climate Adaptation Center (CAC), headquartered in Sarasota. The Climate Adaptation Center is an expert resource to inform government, academe and the private sector so they can create the necessary adaptation strategies and actions to protect the Florida way of life and foster the climate economy as well as larger global solutions evolve to solve the climate problem. For more information, visit theclimateadaptationcenter.org.