Strongest hurricane of 2020 formed in Atlantic
Forecasters' fears were justified, and today, November 16, Hurricane Iota turned into a monster. Writes about it Alabama.com.
Iota escalated to a Category 5 hurricane with 160 mph (257 km / h) winds on Monday afternoon, Nov.16, and is due to land in Central America late at night, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Nicaragua and Honduras again face a direct hit less than two weeks after Category 4 hurricane Eta hit the same area.
With the latest update, Iota becomes the strongest hurricane - and the only category 5 - of the 30 named 2020 storms in the Atlantic.
Category 5 Hurricane #Iota is getting closer to Nicaragua. Hurricane-force winds should begin in a few hours, with landfall expected this evening. This is a life-threatening situation and please heed the advice of local officials. More on Iota at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/8LRbA5illL
- National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) November 16
As of noon CST on Monday, November 16, Category 5 Hurricane Iota was approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of the Colombian island of Providencia or 80 miles (128 km) southeast of Puerto Cabezas. Nicaragua, and was moving westward at 9 miles per hour (14 km / h).
The center of the hurricanes said that Iota should remain a Category 5 hurricane until it reaches land. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (56 km) from the center of the hurricane, and tropical storm force winds extend up to 150 miles (240 km).
Iota can cause a fatal storm surge of 15 to 20 feet (4,5 to 6 meters) to the shores of Nicaragua and Honduras. This is 12-18 ft (3,6-5,4 m) more than anticipated in earlier projections.
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Rain of 10 to 20 inches (25-50 cm) will also be possible in areas heavily affected by flooding and landslides after Eta, including Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as Guatemala and southern Belize. In some areas, 30 inches (76 cm) of rain may fall.
"Catastrophic" wind damage is expected where the hurricane's eye comes ashore, the hurricane center said, and by Monday night, November 16, the hurricane will reach Central America.
The hurricane warning applies to Providencia, Colombia, the Nicaraguan coast from the Honduras / Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi and from the northeastern Honduras coast from Punta Patuc to the Honduras / Nicaragua border on the Colombian island of San Andres.
Iota is expected to weaken rapidly after landfall and disperse across Central America by mid-week.
At the same time, nothing threatens the territory of the United States, meteorologists say.
As of Monday, November 16, no other named storms are being tracked in the Atlantic.
Tropical storm Teta in the eastern Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, November 15, was considered a post-tropical system, but this week may have to watch for a new tropical wave, presumably developing in the same region where Iota is now. The Hurricane Center said that by the end of the week, the system could develop into a tropical depression.
As a reminder, the Atlantic hurricane season ends on November 30.
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