Currently in the Atlantic - November 10th, 2022

Nicole hitting nearly ALL of Florida

When I started chasing hurricanes for The Weather Channel way back in 1985 (their first storm chasing), I would co-ordinate with the late, great John Hope by phone. He would tell me where to go to show the most intense part of a landfalling hurricane. I learned that if you went just a little bit too far north, south, east, or west, you might miss all the action.

That is NOT an issue with Nicole. Hundreds of miles of coastline will be slammed (or are already) by this GIANT storm. The core of Nicole isn't going to be extremely dangerous or intense. However, there aren't many places to go in Florida to escape potentially damaging weather. As of this writing, a State of Emergency is in effect for 45 counties in Florida-practically the whole state! But, this is one of those storms where people only get killed if they do something foolish—or are very unlucky. Just get away from the beaches and take cover in case of a tornado warning.

The main places to evacuate are the barrier islands off the Florida East Coast, north of Hallandale Beach. This is what a huge storm with persistent onshore winds and a full moon can do more than 12 hours before landfall.

For most tropical cyclones, I would show a close-up of the winds around the storm. However, tropical storm force winds extend more than 400 miles from the center! It is the extremely large wind field combined with the straight east to west movement that have literally led to 1000+ miles of onshore winds. There are winds blowing from the NORTH ATLANTIC toward the Florida and Southeast U.S. coast!

This may lead to the worst coastal flooding and surge being far north of the landfall point. The TIMING of the peak surge vs. high or low tide is expected to cause MAJOR coastal flooding even in Charleston, S.C. That's about 400 miles north of the expected landfall.

Major flooding at high tide Thu. morning 

Look at the big differences between low and high tide in Charleston, South Carolina in the example above. This is why high tide timing is so important along the U.S. East Coast. The normal low/high tide difference along the Gulf of Mexico is much less. In Nicole's case, such a large storm leads to multiple high tide problems.

Charleston is just one of many East Coast areas that have seen significant sea level rise in the past century. That means a storm like Nicole 50 years ago wouldn't cause as much flooding as today's Nicole will. And 50 years from now...

Steady sea level rise leads to more coastal flooding



Big problems far from the cone!

Oh, and don't forget the west coast of Florida. The Tampa Bay area, which actually had unusually LOW tides during Ian, will have some storm surge problems Thursday. The position of Nicole will allow for strong onshore winds. Fortunately, it won't last very long before Nicole accelerates toward the Northeast U.S.

Strong onshore winds Tampa Bay area Thu. afternoon

By Friday, Nicole will already be in Georgia and racing northeastward. That means a lot of rain is on the way from Florida to New England-and even Canada eventually.

Predicted weather map for Friday
Large area with good chance of 3"+ rain

After Nicole, an unseasonably cold airmass will move into the entire Eastern U.S. for all of next week.

Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz

What you need to know, currently.

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Though the much-hyped “red wave” didn’t sweep the nation during the 2022 midterm elections as many anticipated, climate action certainly did.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the climate policy wins (and losses) from Tuesday night:

WIN: Texas

On Wednesday morning, Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer conceded her loss to incumbent Democrat Lina Hidalgo in the race for Harris County Judge. Harris County is the third most populous county in the state of Texas and houses many oil and petrochemical operations. Hidalgo has made it clear that she will prioritize the environment by incorporating climate flood maps into city planning, for example, and hiring environmental prosecutors that will hold large industrial firms accountable.

WIN: New York

New York passed a $4.2 billion proposal for climate infrastructure – $1.5 billion will go towards pollution cleanup, wetland protection, clean energy projects and electric school bus fleets. The other $1 billion will be spent on coastal shoreline restoration, and the rest divided between sewage infrastructure and land and fish conservation.

WIN: Minnesota

In Minnesota, democrats have gained control of the state, allowing them to finally achieve many of the state’s climate goals, including boosting the 1 percent of electric vehicles to 20 percent by 2030 and restoring forests and wetlands to meet its carbon-free power target.

WIN: Michigan

Due to both Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel defeating their GOP opponents, they now have a good change of winning the ongoing lawsuit against Enbridge Energy to eventually shut down Line 5, a 1950s liquid gas and crude oil pipeline that transports 22 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids through Wisconsin and Michigan. If the pipeline were to remain, it could destroy the surrounding area as well as tribal land.

LOSS: California

Voters rejected a proposal to raise taxes on multi-millionaires to make electric vehicles more affordable to properly address global warming.

Remember, our climate future is shaped by both big and small elections — it’s not all up to the Senate. So, please pay attention to county and city council elections, as well as races for state treasurers and attorneys general. Every action matters.

And though there’s still work to be done, this midterm’s unexpected climate wins are a step in pushing the nation towards an equitable future filled with climate justice and action.

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.