Subtropical Storm Nicole was the fourteenth named storm of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Nicole formed on October 10 to the southwest of Bermuda. Nicole developed from the interaction of a trough as well as a cold front. Nicole moved northwest, then northeast and out to sea, while attempting to acquire tropical characteristics and become a fully tropical storm. Nicole became an extratropical cyclone on October 11, just a day after it formed.
Nicole caused no known damage and no deaths.
|Formation||October 10, 2004|
|Dissipation||October 11, 2004|
|Highest winds||50 mph|
|Lowest pressure||986 mbar|
|Areas affected||Bermuda, Atlantic Canada, East Coast of the United States|
|Part of the||2004 Atlantic hurricane season|
Nicole's origins are associated with an upper-tropospheric trough as well as a decaying frontal zone that were located over the southwestern North Atlantic Ocean during the first week of October. There was also a persistent low-level trough extending northward from the Lesser Antilles; but satellite images as well as surface observations, suggest that the tropical trough was a distinct feature that was unrelated to the development of Nicole. By October 8, a broad surface low-pressure area was evident about 400 miles southeast of Bermuda, and although it lacked a single, well-defined circulation center, the low produced gale force winds. On October 9, the aforementioned gales affected Bermuda. Around 0000 UTC October 10, the low-level circulation center associated with the low had become better defined about 140 miles south of Bermuda, with bands of clouds over the northern portion of the circulation. However, this band did not have much associated curvature. Shortly thereafter, a distinct curved cloud band developed over the northwestern semicircle of the low, but deep convection was not over the center of the low. Furthermore, the strongest winds, which were about 45 mph, were occuring more than 100 miles away from the circulation center. Based on the cloud pattern as well as the wind field, it is estimated that the low became Subtropical Storm Nicole at 0600 UTC October 10 while located about 120 miles southwest of Bermuda. During the day on October 10, Nicole's heading changed from northwest to north, then to the northeast due to the influence of a mid-tropospheric trough that was moving off the northeastern United States coast. Around 0000 UTC October 11, Nicole passed about 50 miles northwest of Bermuda. Early on October 11, some deep convection developed near the center of Nicole, which suggested that Nicole was trying to acquire tropical characteristics and become a tropical storm. In spite of this, deep convection failed to wrap around Nicole's center, and strong southwesterly upper-level wind shear displaced the deep convection away from the circulation center. While Nicole acclerated northeast to north-northeast, it did not strengthen significantly, and the cyclone soon came under the influence of a powerful extratropical cyclone to the south of Nova Scotia. At 1800 UTC October 11, Nicole was absorbed by this extratropical cyclone.
Satellite image of Nicole near peak intensity.
The Bermuda Weather Service issued a gale warning for Bermuda on October 9. In addition, the BWS issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the island shortly after Nicole's genesis. After Nicole passed the island, all watches and warnings were cancelled.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued several bulletins on Nicole, but the cyclone only briefly entered the CHC's response zone before dissipating. Due to moisture from Nicole combined with the extratropical storm, the Canadian Hurricane Centre issued heavy rainfall and wind warnings for large portions of the Canadian Maritimes.
A total of 11 ships experienced tropical storm force winds in association with Nicole. The highest sustained winds recorded from the storm were 50 mph, with the central pressure being 995 mb before Nicole became absorbed into the extratropical cyclone.
In Bermuda, Nicole produced sustained winds as high as 44 mph. In addition, gusts as high as 60 mph occured to the precursor disturbance that Nicole originated from. Nicole as well as the precursor extratropical cyclone produced heavy rainfall on the island, reaching 5.86 inches at the Bermuda International Airport over a 3 day period. In addition, thunderstorms were reported on the island in association with Nicole. Poor weather conditions from Nicole forced the cancellation of several events at the tourist-driven Bermuda Music Festival, which included acts by Isaac Hayes, Gerald Albright, and Anita Baker. Strong winds from Nicole knocked down power lines, which left over 1,800 homes and businesses without electricity. Bad weather from Nicole also caused airport delays. In addition, strong winds altered or delayed the course of four cruise ships. Also, waves of 10 to 12 feet left several cruise ship passengers seasick, and one sick person was rushed to a local hospital on the island.
In New England, Nicole's remnants, combined with the vigorous extratropical cyclone that absorbed it, produced strong winds, with gusts as high as 65 mph. In Maine, the strong winds snapped branches off of trees, and also downed trees and power lines. In addition, power outages were reported, mainly in the coastal areas of Washington and Hancock Counties. Nicole also produced moderate swells along the East Coast of the United States. Conditions for surfing were best in New York and Rhode Island, where swells of over 4 feet were reported.
Nicole's remnants, combined with the powerful extratropical cyclone that absorbed it, produced strong winds across the Canadian Maritimes, including winds of over 80 mph at the western portion of Cape Breton. The strong winds Nicole produced downed trees as well as power lines, while the winds combined with rough seas cancelled ferry crossings and restricted access to the Confederation Bridge. The powerful extratropical cyclone also produced over 2 inches of rain, which caused flooding in eastern Nova Scotia. The storm's passage during the middle of the apple harvest caused problems for Annapolis Valley.
Lack of Retirement
Because of the lack of any damage from the storm, the name Nicole was not retired in the Spring of 2005 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.