Hurricane Iota made landfall last night on the coast of Nicaragua as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 miles per hour. Since moving over land, the storm has weakened significantly but is still holding on to hurricane strength, with winds up to 75 miles per hour, as of the 10 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.
Even though Iota has made landfall, much like with Hurricane Eta, the heavy rain will continue through the coming days, causing significant flooding and mudslides. Rescues were still ongoing in the aftermath of Eta before Iota hit the same area, so this is a worst-case scenario for people in Central America.
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The preliminary estimate of Iota’s landfall point puts it within 15 miles of Hurricane Eta’s landfall point only two weeks ago. Eta also made landfall as a strong Category 4 hurricane. Unlike Eta, however, Iota will not curve back into the Gulf and impact us, rather it will continue to weaken over the mountainous terrain, and whatever remains will enter the eastern Pacific Ocean.
In addition to being the strongest storm to form so far this year, Iota now marks the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Season, and one of 30 named storms, making 2020 the most active season on record. The previous record holder was 2005 when 28 named storms formed.
This season is a reminder to always be prepared, so make sure you’re keeping up to date with the forecast from your NBC2 First Alert Hurricane Tracking Team.