HAVANA TIMES – Tropical Storm Otto formed on Monday in the southwestern Caribbean east of Nicaragua. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami predict that Otto will become a hurricane, possibly by Wednesday.
The tropical storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and is practically stationary. It is expected to gain in intensity as it starts moving west in the coming days.
The departments of Zelaya Central, Chontales and Rio San Juan were the first to be put on a yellow alert, setting off a fury of civil defense preparations.
At 6:00 p.m. (EST) the center of TS Otto was located by the Cuban Weather Center at 310 miles east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.
The projection cone for Otto sees it hitting the southern Nicaraguan Caribbean coast by as early as Thursday evening. It would then move west passing over the southern part of the country including Lake Nicaragua.
Bluefields suffered major damage to its housing infrastructure and other buildings from Hurricane Juana back in October 1988.
The hurricane season officially ends on November 30, making Otto most likely the final such weather system for the year.