Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Iota nears Central America

Photo: US National Hurricane Centre

Photo: US National Hurricane Centre

Hurricane Iota is now located over the southwest Caribbean Sea about 140 miles (225 km) east of Isla De Providencia, Columbia.

The US National Hurricane Centre said Iota is moving toward the west near 9 mph (15 km/h).  A westward to west-northwestward motion is expected through landfall. 

After landfall, a westward to west-south-westward motion is forecast. 

On the forecast track, the core of Iota will pass near or over Providencia island late tonight or Monday, and approach the coasts of north-eastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras Monday and make landfall within the hurricane warning area Monday night.

(Video: US National Hurricane Centre)

A Hurricane Warning continues for Providencia, the coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras / Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi and the coast of northeastern Honduras from Punta Patuca to the Honduras / Nicaragua border.

A Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warning continues for San Andres. Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin on the island of San Andres this evening with hurricane conditions possible there early Monday.

A Tropical Storm Warning continues for the coast of Nicaragua from south of Sandy Bay Sirpi to Bluefields and for the northern coast of Honduras from west of Punta Patuca to Punta Castilla. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area of Nicaragua by late Monday and in the warning area of Honduras by Monday night.

A life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds along the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Iota’s maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

Rapid strengthening is expected to take place during the next 24 hours, and Iota is forecast to be an extremely dangerous category four hurricane when it approaches Central America.

Iota is expected to produce the following rainfall accumulations through Friday morning:

Honduras, northern Nicaragua, Guatemala, southern Belize: 8 to 16 inches (200 to 400 mm). Isolated maximum totals of 20-30 inches (500 to 750 mm) will be possible, especially from northeast Nicaragua into northern Honduras.

- Costa Rica and Panama: four to eight inches (100 to 200 mm), with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches (300 mm).

- El Salvador and southern Nicaragua: three to five inches (75 to 125 mm), with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches (250 mm).

- Northern Colombia: An additional one to three inches

This rainfall would lead to significant, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain.

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