Hurricane Nigel slightly stronger; non-tropical low off Florida could bring heavy rainfall

Robin Webb and Bill Kearney, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

A fast-moving Hurricane Nigel is forecast to intensify into a Category 2 storm Tuesday as it develops a large eye over the central subtropical Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters also have their eyes on a low that may form off Florida’s east coast and cause heavy rainfall and flooding this week in South Florida before moving north.

There’s also a potential tropical depression forming off Africa.

Nigel’s top wind speeds could reach up to 105 mph, according to the latest advisory. As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nigel’s maximum sustained winds were at 90 mph. Nigel was about 630 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving north-northwest at 16 mph.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from Nigel’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. Swells from the storm should reach Bermuda on Tuesday, causing potentially dangerous surf and rip currents.

The hurricane is expected to be a fast-moving storm, generally headed north in the central tropical Atlantic through Tuesday before turning to the northeast, on a trajectory that sends it to the seas between Ireland and Iceland.


Nigel currently poses no threat to land and could begin gradually weakening Thursday and be a post-tropical cyclone by Friday, forecasters said.

In addition to Nigel, forecasters also are monitoring a non-tropical area of low pressure that is forecast to form east of Florida late this week. Non-tropical means the mechanics of the system are more like what we’d expect in winter.

As a result of the offshore low, South Florida will be increasingly stormy as the week continues, said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Garcia on Tuesday. Once the low moves north, there could be a drying trend for the weekend. “The big thing we’ll need to watch through the week is a chance of heavy rainfall and maybe even flooding, and strong wind gusts from the thunderstorms that could develop,” Garcia said. Flooding could occur Tuesday through Friday, he said.

Wind from the low will be combining with remnant swells from Hurricane Lee to affect beach and ocean conditions. The National Weather Service is predicting a high risk of rip currents in Palm Beach County through Friday, and a moderate risk in Broward County most of the the week through Friday.


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