Hurricane Otto Update

Hurricane Otto Expected to Make Landfall Shortly!

The eye of Hurricane Otto is just offshore Nicaragua. It will come ashore shortly  in the vicinity of Punta Gorda. This is roughly between Bluefields and Greytown. This area is a remote and has a low populated, which is good news. Yet communities such as Ban Ku Kuk, Monkey Point and Corn River are near and could even feel the eyewall of Hurricane Otto.

Currently there is heavy rain coming down in Bluefields. There are with a sustained winds of about 15 miles an hour from the north northeast. There is no marine and pluvial navigation along the San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua until further notice.

The area around El Castillo and Boca de Sabalo received a fair amount of rain overnight. The mighty San Juan River had already increased its flow by over two feet in that area as of 7:00 am Nicaragua time. These communities are expecting the river to jump its banks by the time the storm is over. The good news is that this area is not prown to fast running water flash floods.

The Lake Nicaragua basin is huge, and much of the water that will fall from the storm will end up in the lake. As a result, the lake will increase its water level by several feet. It will take several weeks to get back to its normal height as it drains out the San Juan River.

The storm is moving at an approximate speed of 9 miles per hour (15 km per hour). If it continues at that speed it should take it between 8 and 10 hours to traverse overland to Lake Nicaragua. It will do so in the vicinity of San Carlos, the capital of Rio San Juan.  From there is will continue towards the west southwest, following the southern shore of Lake Cocibolca. This is just south of the Solentiname Islands.

It should be coming offshore into the Pacific just south of the Costa Rica – Nicaragua. The forecast calls for it to still be a tropical storm. If so, it will keep its name in this different hurricane basin. A weekend storm is good news as far as wind speed will cause less damage. But is not not necessarily mean that there will be less rain.

There is one possible bright side to Hurricane Otto. A sustained high volume of water flowing down the San Juan River could make it easier for larger fish to swim up and down the river from the Caribbean Sea. Just recently, I heard news of some shark sightings near Boca de Sabalos. This means that sharks are migrating between the Caribbean and Lake Nicaragua!

It is a matter of a few hours before the brunt of the storm. Strong winds are already reported along the coast especially in San Juan de Nicaragua. This is to the south of where the eye will come ashore. Wind gusts are also present in Bluefields to the north.