(CMR) Tropical Storm Julia formed Friday near the coast of Colombia and could rapidly strengthen into a hurricane over the Caribbean Sea before slamming the coast of Nicaragua this weekend, meteorologists said.
The disturbance, which started a week ago, was upgraded by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to Tropical Depression 13 on Thursday night. At midday on Friday, the NHC said the depression had strengthened into the 10th tropical storm of the 2022 season.
As of 2 p.m. EDT, Julia was moving toward the west at 18 mph (24 km/h) with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph on Friday. Julia was located 505 miles (815 km) to the east of Isla de Providencia, Colombia, and about 150 miles (240 km) north-northeast of Barranquilla, Colombia, Accuweather reported
Hurricane warnings are now in effect for San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina Islands, Colombia. These islands are in the Caribbean Sea east of Nicaragua, where hurricane conditions are expected by Saturday evening, and tropical-storm-force winds could arrive as soon as Saturday afternoon.
A hurricane watch is in effect along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua from Bluefields to the Honduran border. This means hurricane conditions are possible Sunday morning, with tropical storm force winds moving in by Suturday night.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for a part of the Honduras Caribbean coast from the border with Nicaragua to Punta Patuca. Tropical storm conditions are possible in this area Sunday morning.