CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued along the Florida west coast south of Englewood, and along the Florida east coast south of Sebastian Inlet. The Tropical Storm Warning has also been discontinued for Lake Okeechobee.
The Storm Surge Warning has been discontinued for the Florida east coast south of Sebastian Inlet.
At 1000 AM EST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Nicole was located near latitude 28.2 North, longitude 82.2 West. Nicole is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h). A turn toward the northwest and north-northwest is expected later today, followed by a turn toward the north tonight. Nicole is expected to accelerate north-northeastward on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will continue to move across the west central Florida peninsula this morning and emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon. The center should then move across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia tonight, and then move through the southeastern United States on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are have decreased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is expected this morning while the center is over land. Little change in strength is expected while Nicole is over the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon and evening. Nicole is expected to weaken to a depression over Georgia tonight, and then it is expected to merge with a frontal boundary over the Mid-Atlantic United States by Friday night.
Nicole remains a large tropical storm. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 345 miles (555 km) from the center, especially to the northeast. A short time ago, the NOAA Coastal Marine Automated Station at Saint Augustine, Florida, reported 10-minute average winds of 52 mph (83 km/h) and a wind gust of 70 mph (113 km/h). The NOAA National Ocean Service station at Clearwater Beach, Florida, recently reported sustained winds of 51 mph (82 km/h) and a wind gust of 59 mph (95 km/h).