MANAGUA, Nicaragua (WFLA/AP)- Hurricane Otto has strengthened to a Category 2 storm as it moves toward the sparsely-populated Caribbean coast border of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds increased Thursday morning to near 105 mph (165 kph) with some additional strengthening possible before landfall. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says weakening is expected after landfall and Otto is expected to be a tropical storm by Thursday night.
“Hurricane-force winds only extend 10 miles from the center of Otto, and tropical storm wind speeds reach 70 miles from the eye,” said Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Leigh Spann. “It is a small storm, but flooding rain and mudslides will be the biggest concern for parts of Central America.”
The hurricane is centered about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Limon, Costa Rica, and is moving west near 8 mph (13 kph).