Tropical Storm Warnings and even Hurricane Watches are up for Tropical Depression #13, a storm system the National Hurricane Center expects to become a tropical storm later today, and perhaps even become a hurricane by Sunday morning. Once the system is named, it would be given the name “Julia.” The storm system, located 35 miles southeast of the northern tip of Guajira Peninsula in Columbia and about 700 miles east of Isla de Providencia, Columbia is packing maximum sustained winds of 35 mph for now. The depression’s minimum central pressure is 1004 mb or 29.65″.
For now, a Hurricane Watch is in effect San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina Islands in Colombia. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of Colombia from Riohacha eastward to the Colombia/Venezuela border. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 6 to 12 hours.
The National Hurricane Center says that interests along the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras should monitor the progress of the disturbance; additional watches or warnings will likely be required later today.
The storm is forecast to move across the southern Caribbean and eventually slam into Central America. From there, remnant energy and/or moisture could make its way into the Gulf of Mexico, potentially threatening parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast over time. However, such a scenario would be more than 5 days from unfolding; as such, people in the Gulf should be aware and monitor the future progress of the storm, but there’s nothing they need to do for it at this time.
For now, the National Hurricane Center is focussing their attention on getting the word out around Central America about this new tropical cyclone threat.
Tropical storm conditions are expected across portions of the Guajira Peninsula of Colombia this morning. Gusts to tropical storm force are possible across Aruba and portions of northern Venezuela during the next several hours.
The system is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane when it moves over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina Islands. Interests in Nicaragua and Honduras should monitor the system’s progress, as additional watches or warnings are likely to be required for portions of these areas later today.
Heavy rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding over portions of the Guajira Peninsula, northern Venezuela, and the island chain of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao during the next day or two. The potential for flash flooding and mudslides is expected to spread to portions of Central America this weekend.