Tropical Storm Nicole made landfall in Florida early this morning as a Category 1 Hurricane. Nicole has weakened to a tropical storm and is expected to continue to weaken before moving into the Carolinas on Friday as a tropical depression. The center is expected to move through the Carolinas, west of Interstate 95.
The main story in our viewing area is going to be rain, but neither flash flooding nor river flooding is expected. The first half of today will be mostly dry with a few light showers along the coast and then midafternoon and evening showers for everyone. The best chance for widespread rain is after sunset into the overnight hours. All of the rain looks to be gone by Friday afternoon.
No flooding is expected. There would need to be 5 to 7 inches of rain to produce flash flooding, and no models are indicating anywhere near that much rain. The highest totals are roughly 2 inches closer to the coast.
There is not an excessive rainfall outlook for Friday, but there is a severe outlook. The entire viewing area is in a level two out of five for severe weather, which is a “slight” risk. There is not a hail threat, and gusty winds are expected, but only isolated gusts of 40 mph or so. Quick, spinup tornadoes are going to be the reason for the severe weather.
With any landfalling tropical system, the tornado risk is going to be highest on the right, front side of the system, which will be our viewing area if Nicole moves up through the Carolinas on the west side of I-95.
There is not a storm-surge warning or watch in place for coastal Horry County, but there is a high surf advisory and a coastal flood warning from 6 a.m. until noon today. Coastal inundation up to 2′ is going to be possible along with some beach erosion, primarily at high tide.