IOTA REACHES HURRICANE STRENGTH HEADING FOR A HARD HIT IN CENTRAL AMERICA
Hurricane Iota is continuing to strengthen in the central Caribbean – well on its way to likely Category 3 or 4 strength. Unbelievably, Iota is heading for the same coastline that Hurricane Eta decimated just 2 weeks ago.
If Iota gets as strong as forecast, this would be the first time in the record book that two Category 3 or stronger hurricanes formed in November – Category 4 Hurricane Eta being the previous one. Hurricane Iota’s development also cements 2020 as the second most active hurricane season on record behind 2005.
Hurricane Warnings have been issued for the Nicaragua and Honduras coasts, again.
Besides devastating winds, destructive storm surge of 9 to 13 feet above the normal will assault coastal communities, and as much as 20 to 30 inches of rain is forecast to fall over the mountainous terrain. Gullies, streams, and rivers will once again become unsurvivable torrents as the heavy rain at high elevations comes down the mountains all at once.
Dangerous rainfall will affect Costa Rica, Panama, and northern Colombia as well.
Iota is forecast to make landfall late tomorrow or early Tuesday on the Nicaraguan coast and then quickly die over the Central American mountains. Though even after the circulation loses definition, the rainfall threat will migrate north through Central America.
While this is going on, a strong cold front will push through Florida. Cooler fall weather will blow in. The pressure difference between the strong high-pressure system behind the front and lingering low pressure over the Caribbean will maintain a strong breeze off the Atlantic against the east coast of Florida for the rest of the week, at least.
A strong east wind pushing the ocean toward the coast combined with a New Moon will elevate the tides, so we’ll have to watch for sunny-day flooding of low-lying areas near the coastline later this week. Remember, this flooding is salt water, which can affect your car in bad ways.
It’s possible that lingering low pressure and supportive upper-level winds could produce yet another storm in the extreme southern Caribbean in a week or so. A wintertime weather pattern has finally kicked in over Florida, however. So there is no danger of anything moving north from the Caribbean for the foreseeable future.