- Tropical Storm Nicole set to become a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday
- Bermuda security minister said: ‘We cannot afford to have complacency’
- Hurricane Matthew claimed more than 400 lives in the Caribbean and U.S.
Tropical Storm Nicole, coming in the wake of devastating Hurricane Matthew, is set to return to hurricane strength as it heads for Bermuda.
‘Nicole is a serious threat to Bermuda, and we cannot afford to have complacency with this storm,’ said the island’s Minister of National Security Jeffrey Baron.
A hurricane watch – which is usually issued 48 hours before tropical storm-force winds are anticipated – has been issued for Bermuda, a British overseas territory about 700 miles south east of the North Carolina coast.
The storm is south of Bermuda but is said to be heading north. It is seen above at 5am EDT today
Nicole is seen above in a National Hurricane Center image early on Tuesday morning
Mr Baron told the Bermuda News: ‘I cannot emphasize enough the critical importance of residents securing their homes and completing their preparations well in advance of this storm.’
Matthew was a Category Four hurricane but Nicole is anticipated to be only a Category One storm
Bermuda’s government issued a statement on Monday night: ‘The Bermuda Weather Service is advising that the Island is currently under a Hurricane Watch as Tropical Storm Nicole is forecast to intensify into a hurricane tomorrow as it approaches Bermuda.’
Nicole is currently about 300 miles south of Bermuda and is expected to hit the island on Thursday morning.
It is too early to say whether it will head towards Florida afterwards or whether it will fade out.
Laura Rautenkranz, a forecaster with First Coast News in Jacksonville, Florida, tweeted: ‘Watching Tropical Storm Nicole with a Hurricane Watch issued for Bermuda; no issues for the U.S. in the next 5 days.’
The predicted path of Nicole is seen above. There were fears Nicole and Matthew could merge but that has dissipated as Matthew heads north
The likelihood of tropical storm surface winds are seen in the map above
Tropical Storm Nicole was originally a hurricane but weakened but forecasters say it is now expected to strengthen and return to hurricane force as it heads towards Bermuda
Residents on the east coast of Florida remain jittery as they pick up the pieces after last week’s devastation by Hurricane Matthew, which killed 26 people in Florida and South Carolina.
But Nicole is significantly weaker than Matthew, which was a category 4 hurricane.
There were fears last week that the two storm systems could merge but that has dissipated as Matthew heads north.