TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Nicole is gaining strength in the Atlantic near the Bahamas as it moves toward Florida Wednesday morning.

The storm will eventually pass through the Tampa Bay area, and the area will be feeling the impacts late tonight and through Thursday evening.

Nicole’s wind field is rather large, and tropical-storm-force winds (39 mph or greater) are likely to be felt across the area, but some areas will feel more frequent, stronger gusts than others.

Here’s a county-by-county breakdown:

Hillsborough, Pinellas & Pasco

Winds will slowly get stronger throughout the day, especially as outer rain bands move through. Steadier tropical-storm-force winds will arrive late tonight. Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts upwards of 50-55 mph are possible tonight through Thursday afternoon.

There will be a minimal tornado threat as the storm moves through.

Rainfall totals will be 1 to 3 inches, and while brief flooding is possible in a heavier rain band, the rain is not likely to cause lingering flooding or rivers to rise.

Polk, Highlands & Hardee

The storm should hit Tampa Bay’s inland counties the hardest. As it approaches the area Wednesday night and early Thursday, sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph are likely. There will be frequent gusts upwards of 55 mph or greater through early Thursday morning.

The tornado threat is low but a quick spin-up tornado is possible late Wednesday night in those outer rain bands as the storm approaches.

A Flood Watch is in effect with the possibility of 3 to 6 inches of rain. Widespread, long-lasting flooding is not likely, but areas could see ponding of water on the roads while heavy rain bands come through. There could be a slight rise in river levels, but major flooding is not anticipated. There will be very little rainfall behind this system into next week.

Citrus and Hernando

The storm will be weaker moving through the Nature Coast, but winds will still be sustained between 35 and 45 mph. Wind gusts will be in the 50 mph range. A steady, moderate to heavy rain will begin early Thursday morning and continue through Thursday afternoon before it lightens up.

Rainfall totals will be between 2 and 4 inches, and brief localized flooding is possible.

Sarasota and Manatee

The storm’s impacts will be felt in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, but the sustained tropical storm force winds will be less frequent, except right along the coast with winds coming in off the bay or Gulf of Mexico. Sustained winds 20 to 30 mph are possible with gusts upwards of 40 to 45 mph.

Rainfall totals will be 1 to 2 inches with isolated areas of higher amounts. Flooding will not be an issue here with a significant amount of rain not expected. The tornado threat is minimal as well as Sarasota and Manatee counties will likely stay south of the center of the storm.