Rare late-season Hurricane Otto threatens Central America
Nicaragua and Costa Rica were under hurricane watches Tuesday Nov. 22 as Otto strengthened to a hurricane Tuesday afternoon. The storm is forecast to hit Central America on Thanksgiving Day, USA Today reported.
No direct impact on the Yucatan Peninsula is expected from this rare late-season hurricane.
As of 4 p.m. ET, Otto had 75 mph winds, making it a Category 1 hurricane. It was located about 235 miles east of Limon, Costa Rica, the National Hurricane Center said.
Otto is moving to the west at 2 mph and that westward drift is expected to continue later today, followed by a faster westward motion on Wednesday, according to the center.
Total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated amounts of 15 to 20 inches, are forecast across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua through Thursday, the hurricane center predicted. “These rains will likely result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the center said in an online forecast.
Seas and surf will build to dangerous levels over the southwestern Caribbean Sea, AccuWeather warned. Winds will also be strong enough to cause sporadic property damage and power outages later this week.
If it makes landfall in Costa Rica, it would be the first hurricane on record to hit that nation, according to the Weather Channel. If it hits Nicaragua, it would be the latest landfall on record there.