Subtropical Storm Nicole forms Monday, will impact Florida and Georgia later this week

Subtropical Storm Nicole formed early Monday morning east of the Bahamas.

Nicole is forecast to move west towards central Florida later this week. As of midday Monday, a Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Bahamas as well as the east coast of Florida.

By Friday, Nicole is forecast to move northeast, potentially over central and east Georgia.

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For Metro Atlanta, rain will be limited to the eastern half of North Georgia, with the heavier rain located near Athens. As much as 2 inches of rainfall is possible Friday through Saturday.

However, wind will be an issue for Metro Atlanta starting tomorrow.

This wind is due to a pressure gradient between Nicole to the south and a strong area of high pressure to the north. In the middle, Atlanta will experience a strong northeast breeze as air flows from the high to the low.

Wind gusts as high as 25 to 30 mph are possible Tuesday through Saturday.

The wind will also pull in cool, dry air from New England. Afternoon highs will dip into the mid 60s by Wednesday.

What is a subtropical storm?

A subtropical storm is a hybrid system that has both tropical and non-tropical features.

A tropical system contains a warm core, where there is no temperature gradient from the center of the low to the outer rainbands. In other words, there are no warm fronts or cold fronts. The tropical system is fueled only by thermodynamics, namely the latent heat release when water vapor condenses into liquid cloud droplets.

A non-tropical system is baroclinic, which means it is fueld by a temperature gradient that exists along a surface. Distinct air masses exist, which means there is a warm front and a cold front. The baroclinic system is fueled by the pressure gradient produced by the temperature gradient (warm air rises, while cold air sinks).

Tropical Trivia: Record latest tropical system to form

Subtropical Storm Nicole is not the latest storm on record to form in the Atlantic. In fact, Nicole is quite average:

The Atlantic Hurricane Season end on November 30, but plenty of storms have formed after this date. In fact, the record-breaking year of 2005 featured the latest formation of a tropical storm. That honor goes to Tropical Storm Zeta, which formed on December 30, 2005 and continued into 2006.

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