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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Storm Julia, the tenth named storm of the season, formed Friday morning off the coast of Colombia and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane sometime this weekend, authorities said.
It poses no threat to Florida, according to Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Leigh Spann.
At 11 a.m. ET Friday, Julia was about 110 miles west of the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia, South America’s northernmost point. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 80 miles from the storm’s center. The system was moving west at 18 mph, and that general motion was expected to continue through Sunday, the NHC said.
The storm is forecast to pass over the southwestern Caribbean Sea Friday and Saturday and near San Andres and Providencia Islands Saturday night. It should reach the coast of Nicaragua on Sunday morning.
It will likely to strengthen into a hurricane before it reaches Nicaragua, the NHC said.
The storm is expected to weaken after it makes landfall, then its remnants will travel across Central America for about a day, the NHC said.
The storm could dump up to 15 inches of rain on parts of Central America. The NHC warns the heavy rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides across parts of the region.
The storm surge could raise water levels about 2 to 4 feet above normal tides in some areas.
Swells from the storm are affecting the ABC Islands and parts of Venezuela and the Guajira
Peninsula, and are expected to hit Jamaica and parts of Central America. The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, according to the NHC.
Hurricane watches and warnings are in effect for San Andres and the Providencia and Santa Catalina Islands (Colombia) and Nicaragua, from Bluefields to the Nicaragua-Honduras border. A tropical storm warning is in effect for other parts of Colombia and Nicaragua and Honduras.
The NHC issued its final advisory for Tropical Depression 12 Thursday night after it dissipated over the east-central Atlantic.