The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm watch for Orange and Osceola Counties — which include Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. At this time, Subtropical Storm Nicole is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane and make landfall between this Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
As of late Monday morning, Nicole, the 14th named system of the 2022 hurricane season, had sustained winds of 45 mph and was located 495 miles to the southeast of the northwestern Bahamas.
The National Weather Service in Melbourne says Orlando and surrounding cities could be in for elevated flooding from rainfall. They also state there is a potential for the threat of isolated tornadoes.
In a tweet, the National Weather Service Melbourne said, “As of 10 am EST, Tropical Storm, Hurricane, and Storm Surge Watches have been issued for our area. Peak impacts are expected Wednesday and Thursday, but conditions will begin to deteriorate well ahead of the storm on Tuesday.”
AccuWeather is reporting that peak winds are expected to be around 40-50 mph with gusts up to 65 mph. They go on to say that the “window for Tropical Storm force winds” will be from “Wednesday evening until Thursday afternoon.”
As of now, the potential damage is expected to be limited to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. In addition, large tree limbs may break off, a few trees could be snapped or uprooted, and some fences and roadway signs may blow over. Also, a few roads may become impassable from debris, and driving conditions on bridges and elevated roadways may be hazardous. There also is a possibility of scattered power and communication outages. Peak rainfall is expected to be around 3-6 inches, with locally higher amounts.
“I encourage all Floridians to be prepared and make a plan in the event a storm impacts Florida,” Governor DeSantis said in a press release.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the National Hurricane Center will issue its next intermediate advisory at 1 p.m. EST with the next updated path prediction at 4 p.m. EST. The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on Nov. 30.
At this time, neither Universal Orlando Resort nor Walt Disney World Resort has issued any changes or cancellations for the theme parks.