Hurricane Julia made landfall in Nicaragua early Sunday morning as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph.

Julia strengthened into a hurricane on Saturday just hours before its landfall near Laguna de Perlas, and the storm poses a significant flood threat to Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, where torrential rain could trigger mudslides.

The seasons fifth hurricane is not expected to threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast because the system will likely be ripped apart by the rugged terrain of Central America as it continues to move inland during the week.

The Atlantic hurricane season has just under two months remaining, so it’s not unusual for the tropics to remain active in October. The month ranks as the third-most active (behind September and August) for tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin, typically producing about two named storms each year, one of which becomes a hurricane.

Where is Hurricane Julia?

Hurricane Julia is centered about 60 miles to the west-northwest of Bluefields, Nicaragua, and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

The hurricane is moving westward at 16 mph

The season's fifth hurricane is not expected to threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast because the system will likely be ripped apart by the rugged terrain of Central America.
The season’s fifth hurricane is not expected to threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast because the system will likely be ripped apart by the rugged terrain of Central America.
FOX WEATHER

What is the forecast for Hurricane Julia?

Hurricane Julia is expected to continue to move west through Sunday night, and then the storm is expected to turn to the west-northwest on Monday.

On that track, Julia is expected to move across Nicaragua and emerge over the eastern Pacific on Sunday night.

The Atlantic hurricane season has just under two months remaining, so it's not unusual for the tropics to remain active in October.
The Atlantic hurricane season has just under two months remaining, so it’s not unusual for the tropics to remain active in October.
REUTERS/Maynor Valenzuela

Julia is then expected to move near or along the Pacific coasts of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala on Monday and Monday night.

“You’ll notice that the cone is fairly skinny, and that is showing less uncertainty to the forecast in comparison to what we saw with Hurricane Ian,” FOX Weather meteorologist Britta Merwin said. “The dynamics in the atmosphere are pretty much locked in stone, and so we’re not going to see a huge variability with the forecast itself.”

Where are watches and warnings in effect?

People get into a pickup truck to be transported to a safe zone while Hurricane Julia hits the coasts with wind and rain, in Bluefields, Nicaragua.
People get into a pickup truck to be transported to a safe zone while Hurricane Julia hits the coasts with wind and rain, in Bluefields, Nicaragua.
REUTERS/Maynor Valenzuela

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Nicaragua from Bluefields to Puerto Cabezas.

Hurricane Warning means hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are expected somewhere in the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph), which make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for Nicaragua south of Bluefields to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border and north of Puerto Cabezas to the Honduras-Nicaragua border.

A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect for the Pacific coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras, and the coast of El Salvador.

Tropical Storm Warning means that sustained winds of at least 39 mph are expected in the warning area.

What are the impacts of Hurricane Julia?

Hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) and tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) aren’t the only threats Julia poses.

Between 6 and 12 inches of rain is likely on the Colombian islands of San Andrés and Isla de Providencia, with 5 to 10 inches expected across portions of mainland Central America. Isolated amounts as high as 15 inches are possible, particularly in Central America.

On Colombia’s Guajira Peninsula, between 3 and 6 inches of rain is predicted, with localized totals of up to 10 inches possible. 

The FOX Forecast Center said this rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides through the workweek.

Will Hurricane Julia threaten the US?

A blocking high-pressure system is forecast to remain in place north of Hurricane Julia as it tracks across the Caribbean.

Therefore, the FOX Forecast Center believes Julia will keep heading west across the southwestern Caribbean Sea rather than turn north toward the U.S., sending it on a path through Central America through the rest of the weekend and into early next week.

Hurricane Bonnie, if you’ll remember, had its characteristics, went over land and continued on,” FOX Weather meteorologist Craig Herrera said. “As it continued back over the Pacific, it held those lower-level characteristics, so it maintained its name, Bonnie. We could see this potentially happen again. It will be very interesting to watch.

The computer forecast model tracks for Julia are shown on the map below.



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