With the hurricane season now in full-swing, Tropical Storm Matthew is steadily making its way toward South America bringing winds of up to 50 mph.
With the region still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Igor and Tropical Storm Georgette over the past few days, a hurricane warning has come into effect for coastal areas of Nicaragua and Honduras as the latest tropical storm approaches.
The United States National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami warned Matthew is strengthening and could become a hurricane later today.
“Matthew is expected to be near or over north-eastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras late today,” added a NHC statement.
Matthew is forecast to make landfall near the Nicaragua-Honduras border late on Friday or early on Saturday, with authorities bracing for more flooding.
Between six and ten inches of rain over parts of Nicaragua and Honduras are expected, with up to 15 inches possible in isolated areas.
“These rainfall totals may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides,” added the NHC.
Tropical Storm Matthew is expected to make landfall later today
The tropical storm has helped push natural gas futures higher as concerns the system may develop into a hurricane and threaten energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico.
The region is home to home to 31 per cent of United States oil production and ten per cent of gas supplies. The southern gulf also contains the Petroleos Mexicanos’s Cantarell oil field, Mexico’s largest.
Matthew is presently located about 240 miles east of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and moving west at 16 mph.
Meanwhile, far out over the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Lisa is drifting slowly northwest with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph.