RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Nicole is beginning to strengthen and is now a tropical storm.
It's forecast to be near or at hurricane strength by Wednesday and Wednesday night. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 380 miles from the center.
The storm is expected to hit Florida before heading north up to North Carolina.
It is expected to bring with it heavy rain and winds, with most of the rain expected on Friday.
The system should move through our area quickly by Saturday.