Ida became a hurricane just off the coast of Nicaragua
The eleventh storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season formed in the southwest Caribbean Sea on Wednesday, near to the coast of Nicaragua.
Tropical Depression 11 strengthened quickly and became Tropical Storm Ida later in the day as it approached the central American country.
On Thursday morning Ida was bearing down on the Nicaraguan coast with sustained winds of around 75mph (120km/h), and became a hurricane as it neared the coast.
Ida is expected to make landfall during Thursday before travelling north across Nicaragua and Honduras.
As the cyclone moves over land it will weaken considerably, although it will still bring torrential rain and the risk of flash flooding to eastern parts of both countries.
Once the storm passes back out over the Caribbean Sea at the weekend, forecasters expect Ida to restrengthen and become a tropical storm once more.
The current forecast track suggests Ida will clip the far northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula early next week.