Tuesday 1 December, 2020

Iota continues to strengthen rapidly

Photo: US National Hurricane Centre

Photo: US National Hurricane Centre

A Hurricane Warning continues for Colombia’s Providencia Island, the coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras / Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi and the coast of north-eastern Honduras from Punta Patuca to the Honduras / Nicaragua border.

The US National Hurricane Centre forecast hurricane conditions will reach Providencia by late tonight with tropical storm conditions expected beginning this evening.

Hurricane conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area in Nicaragua and Honduras by late Monday.

(Photo: US National Hurricane Centre)

At 7 am EST, the centre of Hurricane Iota was located over the southwest Caribbean Sea about 380 miles (615 km) east-southeast of Cabo Gracias A Dios on the Nicaragua / Honduras border.

Iota is moving toward the west-northwest near six mph (nine km/h).

A westward to west-north-westward motion is expected during the next couple of days until landfall occurs in Central America.

On the forecast track, Iota will move across the south-western Caribbean Sea today, pass near or over Providencia on Monday, and approach the coasts of Nicaragua and north-eastern Honduras on Monday night.

Iota’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (140 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 90 miles (150 km).

Rapid strengthening is expected to occur during the next day or two, and Iota is forecast to be a major hurricane when it approaches Central America.

(Photo: US National Hurricane Centre)

Iota is expected to produce the following rainfall accumulations thru Thursday:

  • Honduras, northern Nicaragua, eastern 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, Panama, and northern Colombia: four to eight inches (100 to 200 mm), with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches (300 mm).
  • El Salvador, southern Nicaragua and southern Honduras: two to four inches (50 to 100 mm), with isolated maximum totals of six inches (150 mm).
  • Jamaica: one to three inches (25 to 75 mm)

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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