- Tropical storm warnings were in place for parts of Nicaragua and neighboring Costa Rica.
- “Areas of life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides are expected.”
- A separate tropical system will continue to bring heavy rain to portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast over the next couple of days.
After several days skirting the northern coast of South America as an unnamed tropical system, Tropical Storm Bonnie finally formed Friday morning in the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center said, and should hit Central America later Friday.
The fast-moving disturbance that had been known merely as “Potential Tropical Cyclone Two” has been drenching parts of the Caribbean region since Monday without ever meeting the criteria for a named tropical storm.
Friday morning, Bonnie was centered about 230 miles east of Bluefields on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast, according to the hurricane center.
Tropical storm warnings were in place for parts of the country and neighboring Costa Rica, AccuWeather said.
“Areas of life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides are expected,” the hurricane center said. Officials in Costa Rica and Nicaragua expressed concern that the storm would unleash landslides and flooding in an area already saturated by days of rain.
“We are waiting for the storm to hit, hoping that it won’t destroy our region,” said Bluefields resident Ricardo Gómez.
Bonnie will threaten parts of Central America with strong winds and flooding rainfall from Friday into Saturday.
Hurricane season is here:You could see the names Fiona, Julia and Walter soon
The hurricane center said it was projected to emerge over the Pacific Ocean on Saturday and gain force while moving over the Pacific roughly parallel to the coast over the following days.
Separate system to drench Gulf Coast
Meanwhile, a separate tropical system will continue to bring heavy rain to portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast over the next couple of days.
Rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches, with locally higher amounts, combined with intense rainfall rates, will have the potential to produce instances of flash flooding, the National Weather Service said.
Coastal sections of Texas and Louisiana are most at risk from the heavy rain.
Contributing: The Associated Press