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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Tropical Storm Nicole is forecast to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall in Florida this week. The storm is then expected to make a northern turn toward Georgia and South Carolina.

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Josh Marthers said coastal impacts – high surf, erosion, rip currents, and coastal flooding – will happen well away from the center and could be felt beginning Tuesday.

“This will allow tidal surge ahead of Nicole to easily flood low-lying areas on barrier islands. Be prepared for saltwater inundation, which could be quite significant, along the coast,” said Marthers.

Cloud cover and winds will start to increase for much of the Lowcountry during the day on Wednesday. “The rain, though, should stay offshore for the most part although we might have a shower or two sneak on shore as we head into the day,” Marthers explained.

He said the worst of the weather associated with Nicole will hold off until early Thursday morning when the shield of rain will approach the South Carolina coast and spread across the state throughout the day.

“With periods of heavy rain expected across the Lowcountry, we could see as much as one to three inches of rain,” Marthers said.

The storm is expected to move rather quickly once it arrives in our area. We could begin to clear our later in the day Friday.