Hurricane Julia Forms in Caribbean Sea, Latest Landfall Projection

Hurricane Julia formed in the southwest Caribbean Sea on Saturday night, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Julia formed just 10 days after Hurricane Ian ravaged southwest Florida, leaving more than 100 people dead so far.

Julia is expected to make landfall on the east coast of Nicaragua in Central America overnight Saturday. The storm is projected to weaken into a tropical storm on Sunday as it treks across Nicaragua before entering the Pacific Ocean through El Salvador and Honduras.

The winds of Julia reached 75 mph on Saturday, which made it a Category 1 hurricane. The hurricane center warns that Julia could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in Central America and southern Mexico from heavy rains and winds that are higher than normal. Hurricane-force winds and a storm surge are expected near the eyewall as it comes ashore Saturday night.

Hurricane Ian
Debris litters the ground after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on October 08, 2022 in Sanibel, Florida. Hurricane Julia formed in the southwest Caribbean Sea on Saturday evening, October 8, 2022. It’s expected to make landfall in Nicaragua Saturday night.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tropical storm warnings are already in effect for the Pacific coasts of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. The storm is forecast to downgrade into a tropical depression by Monday afternoon. Julia’s path beyond Monday as it enters the Pacific hasn’t been published by NHC yet.

Julia comes on the heels of the deadly Hurricane Ian, which devastated southwest Florida on September 28. Ian slammed the region from Naples up to Sarasota as a high-level Category 4 storm. Winds clocked at 155 mph as it made landfall. A Category 5 storm happens when winds reach 157 mph.

Even 10 days later, thousands of residents in Lee County still have no power. Linemen from 33 different states have worked around the clock to help restore power in the subtropical part of the state. Some of the bridges to barrier islands have been repaired. Thousands of homes in the region have been completely destroyed.

Florida has reported 92 deaths, with nearly 60 of those in hard-hit Lee County, which is where Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva and Pine Island are located. Deaths were also reported in North Carolina, Virginia and Cuba. Cape Coral took winds of 140 mph, which was the most of any inland municipalities.

Ian traversed northeast across Florida, wreaking havoc in Orlando and up through Jacksonville. Ian downgraded into a tropical storm but regained Category 1 strength before it made landfall again in South Carolina.

Julia took a somewhat similar path as Ian’s. Both storms began in the Atlantic, about 10-12 degrees north of the equator. Ian took a northward turn once it got into the Caribbean but Julia stayed on a westward path.

Hurricane season, which begins annually on May 1, officially ends on November 30. There are no other tropical systems in the Atlantic or Pacific basins at the time, according to the hurricane center.

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