Depending on the course forecast by the National Hurricane Center, the storm will cross southern Nicaragua or northern Costa Rica on Friday evening.
HAVANA TIMES – The storm moving through the southwest Caribbean Sea is expected to strengthen on its way to Nicaragua and Costa Rica until it becomes Tropical Storm Bonnie, most likely later Thursday. This would be the second such weather system formed so far this year in the Atlantic Basin. On Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a hurricane and tropical storm watch for areas of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, respectively.
In a bulletin issued at 06:00 (Nicaragua time), the NHC said the system began its track in the southern part of the Windward Islands and continued through the Caribbean near the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia. As of 11 a.m. ET today, the center was located 660 miles (1,065 kilometers) east of Bluefields in the Southern Caribbean.
It is currently packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 km/h) and moving rapidly at 20 miles per hour (31 km/h) heading west.
According to the forecast track, this Thursday, it will cross the southwestern Caribbean Sea and pass through southern Nicaragua or northern Costa Rica on Friday evening, emerging over the eastern Pacific Ocean on Saturday. From there, it can grow stronger until it reaches hurricane strength.
After warnings related to the Caribbean coasts of Venezuela and Colombia have been suspended, a hurricane watch remains in effect for an area that extends from the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border north to Pearl Lagoon, as well. There is a tropical storm warning for the Colombian island of San Andrés.
Crossing Central America
On the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica, there is a tropical storm watch from Limon north to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua.
Maximum winds are expected to strengthen by Friday as the system approaches Central America.
Weakening is expected as the system crosses Central America, but strengthening is expected on Saturday once it moves over the Pacific Ocean.
The probability of a cyclone forming is 90%, both for the 48-hour forecast and for the 5-day forecast. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km).
The passage of the phenomenon will be felt in northern Colombia and more intensely in Nicaragua and Costa Rica with rains, which could give rise to flash floods, high winds and storm surges.
The authorities of the institutions that make up the National System for Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters (Sinapred) have reported, through the Nicaraguan government media, that they have more than 300 shelters ready, in case there is evacuations would be necessary.
The army suspends the sails
The storm surge could raise sea levels up to three feet (0.9 meters) above normal tide levels along the immediate Nicaraguan coast near and north of where the center touches the ground.
The Nicaraguan army, through the navy, on Wednesday suspended maritime traffic to and from the country’s 11 most important ports, due to the threat posed by the weather system. They noted “they will not be granting departures to vessels destined for the high seas, fishing grounds, coastal communities, islands or adjacent keys, until further notice.”
Navigation has been suspended for the ports of Bluefields, Corn Island, El Bluff and Puerto Cabezas, located on the Caribbean coast (east), as well as the maritime terminals of Corinto, Potosí, Puerto Sandino and San Juan del Sur, in the Pacific (west-southwest), plus those found in the Great Lake of Nicaragua: Granada, Moyogalpa and San Carlos.
In addition, they recommended fishing vessels “to take all safety measures and, if necessary, to move to a safe port, to avoid regrettable events”.
So far in the current Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and is expected to be more active than normal by weather services, there has only been one named storm, Alex, which formed on June 5 near the Yucatan Peninsula with the remnants of Hurricane Agatha, the first to form this year in the Pacific region. Alex brought rains to the Yucatan, western Cuba and southern Florida.
Read more about Nicaragua here on Havana Times