With just nine days to go in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Otto formed early Monday off the coast of South America.
The storm, located about 300 miles east of the Nicaraguan coast, is expected to gain strength over the next few days as it moves west and could become a hurricane by Wednesday. It remains unclear whether the storm will survive crossing Central America as it pushes into the eastern Pacific, National Hurricane Center forecasters said. The storm poses no threat to Florida or the U.S. coast.
The system marks the 15th tropical storm this year, just two shy of the total forecast earlier this year and making 2016 a slightly above average year for storms. In August, forecasters called for 12 to 17 named storms, with between two and four major hurricanes.
So far, the year has followed predictions closely, producing three major storms and breaking an 11-year streak that saw no landfalls by major hurricanes. In October, Matthew, which reached Cat 5 strength and killed more than 1,600 people as it plowed across the Caribbean, struck North Carolina as a weakened Cat 1 storm.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Matthew was a major hurricane when it struck the U.S. coast.
Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich