PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB-TV) – Temperatures will be trending cooler today thanks to winds out of the northeast pulling colder air south from New England, around a high pressure system to our north and Tropical Storm Nicole to our southeast. Temperatures today are only forecast to reach the low 70s under a partly sunny sky.

Tropical Storm Nicole is nearing the Bahamas and eyeing the southeastern coast of Florida for landfall late tonight through tomorrow morning. It will likely make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane with winds around 75 mph near Port Saint Lucie and West Palm Beach.

Wind shear in the environment it is forecast to enter will keep the system from strengthening to a stronger hurricane, while a couple of fronts/troughs will direct its steering pattern. It will likely curve into the central or southern peninsula of Florida by Thursday afternoon, move northwest, emerge into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and curve northeast through the Big Bend and up the east coast by the end of the weekend.

Because the panhandle of Florida is on the west side of the storm (based on current and likely forecast path), we are not anticipating significant impacts from this storm system. Scattered showers will be possible Thursday into Friday morning with rainfall totals up to one inch in our western counties, 2 inches through the central counties and 3 inches closer to Apalachicola River and the Big Bend. Winds will also increase in speed to around 10-20 mph Wednesday through Friday. Wind gusts could reach 45 mph on Thursday. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect until Friday due to rough waters. There is also a high rip current risk.

On Friday, a cold front will be approaching northwest Florida from the west. This system will help push away Nicole from our area. It will also bring in another shot of cold air through the weekend. High temperatures will tumble to the 60s on Saturday and possibly upper 50s on Sunday. Sunday morning lows will drop to the 30s inland, near freezing Monday morning.