Nicole continues to close in on the island nation of Bermuda as a major Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph.

Hurricane-force winds will are impacting the area with storm surge and high seas and 5-8 inches of rain. It will be a long day ahead as Nicole batters the country- the first hurricane that may make landfall there since Gonzalo in 2014.

Since 1950, four hurricanes have made landfall in Bermuda- Arlene in 1963, Emily in 1987, and both Fay and Gonzalo in 2014. Gonzalo was a Category 2 hurricane at the time of landfall with maximum sustained winds 110 mph.

Although there have only been 4 land-falling hurricanes since 1950 in Bermuda, there have been several hurricanes that brushed the island and did not make landfall. The most destructive of these was Fabian in 2003. It was a Category 3 storm as the eye passed just west of Bermuda with 120 mph maximum sustained winds. The damage from Fabian was significant- the worst damage since 1926. The damage estimate in Bermuda was $300 million US dollars (unadjusted), with $15 million in damage at the airport alone.

The forecast path for Nicole takes it directly over Bermuda as a category 3 hurricane later Thursday. It will then continue on a NE path out to sea, not impacting land.