As Tropical Storm Nicole gains strength, Florida stands ready for impact. Central Florida is right in the storm’s path. The storm, which was upgraded from a Subtropical Storm to a Tropical Storm yesterday afternoon, is expected to make landfall on Florida’s east coast in Brevard County late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning and move west toward Orlando. The storm is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane sometime today before it makes landfall.
Curious about what the difference is? So were we. According to the National Weather Service, “A subtropical storm typically has a large, cloud-free center of circulation, with very heavy thunderstorm activity in a band removed at least 100 miles from the center.” The National Hurricane Center defines a tropical storm as a “tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds ranging from 39-73 mph (34 to 63 knots).” and a hurricane as “a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 mph or greater (64 knots or greater).”
Currently, only Universal Orlando has announced closures ahead of the storm. Universal’s Volcano Bay water park is closed today and expected to remain closed tomorrow (though no announcement has been made yet). The rest of Universal Orlando Resort remains open.
Disney World previously announced the closure of its Fort Wilderness Campground but reversed course on the decision. They have, however, continued to block new park pass reservations for Wednesday and Thursday (November 9 and 10).
Though the storm is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane, experts do not predict it will have the strength of impact that Hurricane Ian did. However, this is an ongoing situation and storms like Nicole are often unpredictable. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep you updated with any new developments, including updates on closures at Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.