Tropical Storm Bonnie makes landfall in Nicaragua

Tropical Storm Bonnie became the second named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Friday, reaching nearly 50 miles per hour b...

Tropical Storm Bonnie became the second named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Friday, reaching nearly 50 miles per hour before making landfall in southeastern Nicaragua late in the day.

By Friday, the storm had strengthened slightly and moved into the southwest Caribbean Sea. Bonnie strengthened further before making landfall Friday evening near the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border, where tropical storm warnings were in effect, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm, which was moving at 16 mph, was expected to pass through the region on Saturday.

While the system was expected to weaken as it crossed Central America, it was expected to strengthen once it reached the warmer waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean on Saturday.

A storm is given a name after it reaches wind speeds of at least 39 miles per hour, but a few days before Bonnie reached that point it brought heavy rain in the Caribbean region, as well as the risk of life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Maria Torres, meteorologist at the Hurricane Center, said Bonnie should “maintain an identifiable closed circulation” as she moves over Central America in the Pacific Ocean to keep her name. It’s rare for a hurricane to jump from the Atlantic to the Pacific, Ms Torres said, the last being Hurricane Otto in 2016.

Jumps in the opposite direction – from the Pacific to the Atlantic Basin – are even less frequent. Ms Torres said there was no trace of an intact tropical cyclone as it moved from the eastern Pacific Ocean towards the Atlantic.

Forecasters are watching for two more storms in the Atlantic, including one that is expected to bring heavy rain this weekend to the US Gulf Coast, where flood alerts are in effect in Texas and Louisiana. The other, much further east, is expected to slowly follow Bonnie’s path to Central America over the weekend.

This year, meteorologists predict the season, which runs until November 30, will produce 14 to 21 named storms. Six to 10 of them are expected to become hurricanes, and up to six of them are expected to strengthen into major hurricanes, classified as Category 3 storms with winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

Last year there were 21 named storms, after a record 30 in 2020. Over the past two years, meteorologists have exhausted the list of names used to identify storms during Atlantic hurricane season, an event that has only happened once, in 2005.

The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming clearer every year. The data shows that hurricanes have become stronger in the world over the past four decades. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms – although the total number of storms may drop as factors such as wind shear stronger could prevent the formation of weaker storms.

Hurricanes also become wetter due to more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; scientists have suggested storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produce far more rain than they would without human effects on the climate. Also, sea level rise contributes to higher storm surge – the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Tropical Storm Bonnie makes landfall in Nicaragua
Tropical Storm Bonnie makes landfall in Nicaragua
Newsrust - US Top News
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