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Tropical depression twenty-one dissipates over Nicaragua; Heavy rains expected in Central America

Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2023. 4:46 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: Tropical Depression Twenty-One may have dissipated over Nicaragua, but Central America remains on alert. Remnants of the depression are expected to continue drenching the region with heavy rainfall, elevating the risks of flooding and potential mudslides. The weather system had originally formed in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on Monday.

The remnants are now located roughly 130 miles north-northwest of Bluefields, Nicaragua, drifting west-northwest at a speed of 3 mph. Their current maximum sustained winds hover around 25 mph, accompanied by occasional stronger gusts.

In a recent update, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) confirmed the tropical depression’s dissipation as it journeyed inland over Nicaragua earlier on Tuesday. However, Nicaragua is bracing for an additional rainfall between 4 to 8 inches, with some areas possibly experiencing a deluge of up to 12 inches. Southern and eastern parts of Honduras are also on high alert, anticipating 2 to 4 inches of rain and, in isolated regions, up to 6 inches. The ensuing heavy rainfall is poised to trigger urban and flash flooding, especially in elevated terrains prone to mudslides.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has proven notably active. To date, 21 systems have formed, with seven escalating into full-fledged hurricanes. The year had an early start when a subtropical storm emerged in the western Atlantic as early as January, hinting at the water temperature trends favoring cyclonic activities later in the season.

Adding complexity to the season, an El Niño appeared during its peak. Traditionally, forecasters consider an El Niño’s presence in the Pacific as a sign of reduced activity in the Atlantic. However, this year’s events defied expectations. The 2023 El Niño hasn’t cooled down the Atlantic waters or introduced hostile winds, both typical challenges for tropical cyclones.

Residents in affected areas are urged to stay updated with local advisories and take necessary precautions against potential floods and mudslides.

 

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