Tropical Depression 13 becomes Tropical Storm Julia

Tropical Depression 13 became Tropical Storm Julia this morning after reaching maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (mph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

This is the tenth tropical storm to form so far this hurricane season. For now, of the total named storms, four have become hurricanes and two of them have reached intense hurricane force (category 3 to 5 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale).

According to the 11:00 am bulletin, Julia’s circulation center was located at latitude 12.7 degrees North and longitude 73.1 degrees West, about 110 miles west of the northern tip of the Guajira Peninsula of Colombia.

Specifically, this system is still over warm waters in the southern region of the Caribbean Sea, so in the next few hours it could continue to take advantage of heat energy to increase its cloud area with strong winds and thunderstorms.

Given that, the NHC projected the possibility of the cyclone becoming a hurricane within the next 36 hours.

“Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, with Julia expected to become a hurricane by Saturday night, before it reaches San Andres and the Providencia Islands, and the Nicaraguan coast.

Currently, storm-force winds extend up to 80 miles outward from the center of circulation.

“On the forecast track, the center of Julia is expected to move across the southwestern Caribbean Sea over the next several days, passing near San Andres and the Providencia Islands on Saturday night and reaching the coast of Nicaragua on Saturday. Sunday morning”, reads the bulletin.

Following this report, the Government of Colombia replaced a hurricane watch with a hurricane warning for San Andrés, Providencia and the Santa Catalina Islands.

In addition, the Government of Nicaragua issued a hurricane watch from Bluefields to the Nicaraguan border with Honduras.

Meanwhile, the Honduran government issued a tropical storm watch from the Nicaraguan border west to Punta Patuca.

Julia could make landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph, according to this forecast.

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