A strengthening Tropical Storm Nana was expected to become a hurricane before striking Belize before dawn Thursday and drenching a good part of Central America with dangerously heavy rainfall, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Forecasters put the entire coast of Belize under hurricane watch and warned that people in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula should closely monitor the storm’s progress. It said Nana is expected to pass near but north of the coast of Honduras on Wednesday and likely reach Belize early Thursday.
Strong winds, a dangerous storm surge and very heavy rainfall causing flash flooding are likely, it said.
At 5 p.m. EDT, Nana’s center was located about 155 miles east of Belize City. Nana was moving west at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.
Meanwhile, Omar weakened to a depression Wednesday and continued to move away from land.
The Hurricane Center expects Omar to be short-lived. Wednesday, it had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was expected to weaken to a remnant low on Thursday. Omar was 265 miles north of Bermuda, and moving east-northeast at 14 mph.
Nana and Omar are the earliest 14th and 15th named storms on record, beating the 2005 arrivals of Nate on Sept. 6 and Ophelia on Sept. 7, according to Colorado State University professor Phil Klotzbach.