NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) continues to track the progress of Nicole, which has transitioned to a tropical storm and is expected to become a hurricane on Wednesday.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, and The Berry Islands, indicating that hurricane conditions could affect the islands within 36 hours. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the islands of Eleuthera, New Providence, and Andros, indicating that tropical storm conditions could affect the islands within 36 hours. Islands in the Central Bahamas remain under close monitoring of storm progress.
On the forecast track, the centre of Nicole will approach the Northwest Bahamas tonight, move near or over the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama on Wednesday, and approach the East Coast of Florida Wednesday night or early Thursday. As of 4:00 PM EST, the centre of Tropical Storm Nicole was located about:
- 210 miles east-northeast of Hope Town, Abaco
- 265 miles east-northeast of East End, Grand Bahama
- 220 miles northeast of Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera
- 280 miles northeast of New Providence
- 315 miles northeast of Nicholls Town, Andros
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 miles per hour with higher gusts and tropical storm-force winds extending outward up to 380 miles from the centre.
Additional strengthening is expected over the next day or so, and Nicole is forecasted to become a hurricane on Wednesday when it is near the Northwest Bahamas and remain a hurricane when it approaches the East Coast of Florida.
Residents and visitors in the Northwest Bahamas are being advised to prepare for these conditions. Storm surge could raise tide levels by as much as four to six feet along the immediate coast and large swells generated by Nicole are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Boaters should remain in port or move vessels to safe harbour.
The following airports will close on Tuesday, 08 November at sunset and remain closed until Thursday, 10 November subject to clearance from the Bahamas Department of Meteorology:
- Andros: San Andros Airport (SAQ)
- Abaco: Treasure Cay Airport (TCB), Leonard M. Thompson International Airport (MHH), Sandy Point Airport (YAS), Moorse Island Airport (MYAO)
- The Berry Islands: Great Harbour Cay Airport (GHC)
- Bimini: South Bimini Airport (BIM)
- Grand Bahama: Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA)·
- Eleuthera: Rock Sound Airport (RSD), Governor’s Harbour Airport (GHB), North Eleuthera Airport (ELH)
At this time, additional airports and ports in the Northwest Bahamas remain open for business; however, residents and visitors are advised to check directly with airlines and hotels regarding possible impacts on travel plans.
Conditions will continue to be assessed and updated accordingly based on storm progress and in coordination with information from the Bahamas Department of Meteorology.
The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles; there could be a tropical storm or hurricane warning for parts of the country while other parts remain unaffected.