Tropical Storm Julia is now categorized as a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center on Saturday.
The storm is passing between the San Andres and Providencia Islands and is moving west at 17 mph, the NHC said in an update at 6 p.m. 7 p.m. ET.
Hurricane Julia is expected to strengthen slightly before hitting the Nicaraguan coast early Sunday, according to the NHC.
Along with hurricane-force winds, life-threatening rainfall of 6 to 10 inches, with isolated amounts of up to 15 inches, is possible in Nicaragua.
These rainfall amounts can lead to landslides and floods.
A Category 3 storm or higher is considered a major hurricane by the National Weather Service. Ian made landfall in South Carolina in late September as a Category 1 hurricane.