Nigel now a Category 2 hurricane; non-tropical low off Florida could bring heavy rainfall

Robin Webb, Bill Kearney and Angie DiMichele, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

Hurricane Nigel intensified into a Category 2 storm Tuesday afternoon and is projected to accelerate to the northeast, away from North America.

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 110 mph, according to the latest advisory. As of 5 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, the storm’s maximum sustained winds were at 100 mph, and it was about 590 miles east of Bermuda, moving north-northwest at 14 mph.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from Nigel’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. Swells from the storm will affect Bermuda for the next few days, 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 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.


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