The storm prompted a hurricane warning in the Bahamas and hurricane and storm surge watches for parts of Florida. 

It is expected to strengthen over the next few days. 

Subtropical Storm Nicole, which formed in the southwestern Atlantic on Monday, was forecast to become a tropical storm and begin strengthening on Tuesday 

The storm was expected to be near or at hurricane strength by midweek when it approaches the east coast of Florida. 

Nicole, which was forecast to move near or over the Bahamas on Wednesday, was packing 45-mile-an-hour winds on Tuesday morning. 

In preparation, the government of the Bahamas issued a hurricane watch that was upgraded on Monday afternoon to a hurricane warning for the northwestern Bahamas 

Three to five inches of rain were expected across the northwest Bahamas and central and northern parts of Florida from Tuesday through Thursday, with up to seven inches possible in some locations. 

The warning, which means that hurricane conditions were expected within 36 hours, included Abaco, Berry, Bimini and Grand Bahama islands. 

A tropical storm warning, anticipating tropical storm conditions, was in effect for Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera islands. 

Nicole’s winds stretch out 380 miles from the center of the storm, according to a Tuesday morning update from the Hurricane Center.