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Breaking: Otto strengthens to a Category 1 Hurricane

Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016. 3:56 p.m. CST.

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By BBN Staff: On Monday afternoon, Otto, this Hurricane season’s 15th named storm became the season’s seventh hurricane as it was located in the southwest Caribbean Sea. Otto is now a rare Thanksgiving hurricane and is expected to affect parts of Central America with flooding and rainfall.

At about 10:00 a.m. today, the National Hurricane center said that the late season tropical storm neared hurricane strength. This afternoon, Otto was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane.

This morning, Otto was located about 225 miles southeast off Colombia’s San Andres Island and 335 miles east-southeast from Bluefield, Nicaragua.

A hurricane watch was issued this morning for Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua. This means that hurricane conditions are possible there within 48 hours.

A tropical storm warning was issued in Panama from Nargana to Colon, where tropical storm conditions are expected to begin tonight.

A tropical storm watch is also in effect from west of Colon, Panama, to Costa Rica, and from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi in Nicaragua.

A tropical storm warning was issued this afternoon for San Andres Island, a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea located about 125 miles east of the Nicaragua coast.

Tropical storm-force winds currently extend out to about 70 miles from the center of circulation, making Otto a relatively small tropical cyclone. Hurricane-force winds only extend outward 10 miles from the center.

The projected rainfall totals up to 10-15 inches across northeastern Costa Rica and higher areas of Nicaragua, potentially causing life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Otto could be a record latest-in-season hurricane landfall in Nicaragua.

Otto would be the first hurricane to make landfall in 174 years of records in Costa Rica.

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