Tropical storm Otto has strengthened into a category 1 hurricane Tuesday afternoon, with sustained winds of 75-mph. This is now the seventh Atlantic hurricane of the 2016 season. This makes Otto the latest hurricane formation on record in the Caribbean Sea, surpassing Hurricane Martha in 1969 by about a day, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Satellite images indicate that Otto is continuing to strengthen. Most of the guidance models show Otto making landfall as a category 1 hurricane on Thursday and so does the official forecast. Stronger shear, as well as land interaction over central America, will probably prevent Otto from restrengthening over the eastern Pacific.
Satellite imagery suggests that Otto has been drifting westward during the day Tuesday. As a ridge builds over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, forward speed should increase.
A hurricane warning will likely be required tonight or early tomorrow for portions of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.