If the tropical depression south of Cuba forms into tropical storm Nicole, will its bark be bigger than its bite? It may look like a minimal tropical storm, but it will bring heavy rains to Cuba and South Florida which could cause life threatening flooding. The tropical depression that may form into Tropical Storm Nicole is developing south of Cuba as a wide circulation within the atmosphere. Low level winds around the tropical depression are weak slow intensification is expected into Wednesday, and the depression will be upgrade and named tropical storm Nicole.
The tropical depression will need to get itself organized soon, because its motion is going to carry the low pressure center over Cuba. This area of low pressure still may get strong enough to become a named tropical storm. If the depression does increase in intensity, then it will be named Tropical Storm Nicole. It will be the ninth named tropical system in the Atlantic for the 2010 hurricane season.
If tropical storm Nicole forms, it will move north over Cuba and pass over, or just to the east of Florida. The storm may also pass over the Florida Keys. Since the tropical depression is expected to pass over land, it may delay its organization into become tropical storm Nicole.
Even though this tropical depression may not reach tropical storm strength, and become tropical storm Nicole, it will still bring some heavy rains to portions of South Florida. The tropical depression that may form into tropical storm Nicole is expected to move northward and get caught up in southerly flow and move up the east coast. Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for most of South Florida. The tropical depression could bring 4 to 8 inches of rainfall to South Florida, with even higher amounts of rain expected for Cuba Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands.
In order for the the tropical depression south of Cuba to be classified as tropical storm Nicole, it will need to have winds of 35 knots, or just under 40 mph. These winds could either be directly measured by buoys, or by hurricane hunter aircraft. The tropical depression is expected to reach tropical force winds late Tuesday night, or on Wednesdays. Once tropical storm force winds are reached, then the National Hurricane Center will name its ninth storm of the season as tropical storm Nicole. The remnants of this storm will likely move out to sea in about three days. If the remnants of tropical storm Nicole stay close to the coast, then some heavy rain may occur from Georgia to the Carolinas, as well as the Mid Atlantic states.