Tropical Storm Otto Forms, Threatens Central America

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- Tropical Storm Otto forms in southwest Caribbean

- May become a hurricane late this week

- Otto is not forecast to impact the U.S. or Florida

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The fifteenth named storm of the season has formed in the southwest Caribbean Sea. Tropical Storm Otto developed just nine days before the end of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season.  The National Hurricane Center issued the first advisory on Otto 1 pm Eastern. The storm was located about 300 miles east of Nicaragua and nearly stationary.

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Otto is not forecast to impact Florida or the United States, but conditions are favorable for the tropical storm to mature into a Category One Hurricane before making landfall in Nicaragua or Honduras Thursday.   The storm will likely weaken quickly as it traverses Central America’s mountainous terrain and move into the Pacific Friday as a depression or remnant low.

Although tropical development this late in the season is not unheard of, it is uncommon.  Only nineteen tropical storms have formed in the Atlantic basin since 1950 on or after November 21st.  However, if Otto develops into a hurricane it would be a rare occurrence. Hurricane Otto would be the first to form in the southwestern Caribbean this late in the season in forty seven years, the last one was Martha in 1969.

 

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