6 P.M. CST Monday–Hurricane Iota has rapidly intensified into the strongest hurricane of 2020, becoming an incredibly powerful category 5 storm with 160 mph sustained winds in the eyewall. From a meteorological perspective, this is an astonishing event for multiple reasons.
First, this means Iota breaks the record for LATEST category 5 hurricane in a season (November 16th). It’s extremely rare to see a storm this strong, this late in the season.
Secondly, Hurricane Iota is making landfall in almost the exact same spot as Hurricane Eta did, exactly two weeks ago at the beginning of November. To see one major hurricane impact this region in one season is rare…the chance of TWO major hurricanes hit the same area in one season is next to impossible.
Here is the latest forecast track for Hurricane Iota from the National Hurricane Center. This storm, in what again will be similar to Eta, is expected to make landfall near Puerto Cabezas as a category 5 storm with catastrophic winds up to 160 mph tonight. It will continue its track Westward over the next 2-3 days. Iota will gradually weaken after landfall back down to a category 3 hurricane tomorrow morning farther inland, before eventually dissipating as a tropical storm over El Salvador Wednesday morning. Thankfully for us, this storm is NOT expected to ping-pong back to the North towards the Gulf, as Eta did two weeks ago.
Iota adds yet another storm to the record-breaking list of storms so far this year. We’ve seen the most tropical storms ever in a single season so far, with 30 named storms since the season began. We’re also quickly approaching the record for most hurricanes in one season…13 so far, current record still stands at 15 hurricanes in 2005. With the current season staying outlandishly active well into November, it won’t be too big a surprise to see that record fall as well. Time will tell. Thankfully for now, no current active storms look to pose any threat to the US.
That’s all for now! Be sure to download the free CBS 42 Storm Team Weather App for up-to-the-minute weather alerts in YOUR area. Also, give me a follow on Twitter @GriffinHardyWX for more weather updates from across Alabama & the Southeast. Have a good night!