Tropical Storm Julia likely to form in southern Caribbean Friday

The season’s next named storm is likely to form Friday over the southern Caribbean, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.

Tropical Storm, and then Hurricane, Julia is expected to form from Tropical Depression 13 approaching the southern Caribbean, a path that would be generally similar to the initial formation of Hurricane Ian.

While Ian turned north toward the Gulf and then headed toward Florida’s Gulf coast, this potential storm is expected to pose a threat to areas of South and Central America.

A hurricane watch was in place Thursday evening for several islands near Colombia. A tropical storm warning was in place Thursday for the coast of Colombia from the Colombia/Venezuela border westward to Riohacha, located in northwestern Colombia.

The depression is moving west at 15 mph and is forecast to develop into Tropical Storm Julia Friday morning or afternoon, the hurricane center said in its 8 a.m. update. A faster rate of strengthening is forecast on Saturday and Saturday night, and the system is expected to become a hurricane before it reaches San Andres and Providencia Islands and the coast of Nicaragua this weekend, forecasters said.

As of 8 a.m., the disturbance was located about 30 miles west-southwest of the Guajira Peninsula Colombia. It has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Tropical storms form when top winds reach at least 39 mph.

After Julia, the next named storm to form would be Karl.