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HURRICANE IOTA: Rapid Intensification Expected

hurricane iota

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Hurricane Iota is expected to rapidly intensify before making landfall as a major hurricane. The strike zone is expected to be near an area where Hurricane Eta made landfall just days ago. Here is the latest discussion from the National Hurricane Center, following by the public advisory:

Hurricane Iota Discussion Number   8
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL312020
400 AM EST Sun Nov 15 2020

Iota has continued to rapidly intensify, strengthening 35 kt during 
the past 24 hours. Deep convection has increased in vertical depth 
and has also expanded, producing a symmetrical Central Dense 
Overcast (CDO) with a large area of cloud tops colder than -80C 
surrounding the center. Upper-level outflow has also improved in all 
quadrants as the deep-layer vertical wind shear has finally abated. 
An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance investigating Iota early this 
morning measured a peak 700-mb flight-level wind speed of 76 kt on 
its outbound leg, which equates to about a 68-kt equivalent surface 
wind speed. The second center dropsonde pressure was 987 mb with a 
21-kt surface wind, which equals about 985 mb, a pressure drop of 4 
mb in a little more than an hour. Based on these data, the intensity 
has been increased to 70 kt for this advisory.

Iota has recently wobbled to the northwest, but the best motion 
estimate is 280/05 kt. An expansive ridge extending westward from 
the Atlantic across Florida and over the Gulf of Mexico will keep 
Iota moving in a westward to west-northwestward motion for the next 
few days, resulting in a Central America landfall in about 48 hours, 
close to where former Hurricane Eta made landfall earlier this 
month. As low-level ridging increases southward across the Gulf of 
Mexico on days 3 and 4, Iota is expected to move westward farther 
inland over Central America and dissipate by day 5. The new NHC 
model guidance remains in good agreement on this developing track 
scenario. The new official track forecast is a little north of the 
previous advisory track, primarily due to the more northward initial 
position, and lies along the southern edge of the guidance between 
the consensus models TVCN, NOAA-HCCA, and FSSE.

The atmospheric and oceanic conditions are expected to be very 
conducive for continued rapid strengthening, characterized by low 
shear less than 5 kt, moist mid-tropospheric air, and sea-surface 
temperatures of 28.5-29.0 deg C. Therefore, rapid intensification is 
explicitly forecast for the next 48 hours, with Iota expected to 
become a category 4 hurricane before it reaches central America. The 
official intensity forecast is very similar to the bulk of the 
intensity guidance, but lies a little below the Decay-SHIPS and LGEM 
models, which bring Iota to 120-125 kt just prior to landfall. The 
slightly lower intensity is due to the warm water east of Nicaragua 
becoming a more shallow, which could result in some cold some 
upwelling, plus a possible eyewall replacement cycle (ERC) 
occurring. After Iota moves inland, rapid weakening is forecast as 
the hurricane moves over the rugged terrain of Nicaragua and 
southern Honduras. The new NHC intensity forecast is similar to a 
blend of the IVCN, HCCA, and FSSE consensus models.


Key Messages:

1. Iota is expected to rapidly intensify and be a major hurricane
when it approaches the coast of Central America.  A Hurricane
Warning has been issued for portions of the coast of Nicaragua and
Honduras, and hurricane conditions and a dangerous storm surge are
expected there beginning Monday.

2.  Hurricane conditions are expected and storm surge impacts
are possible on Providencia beginning late Sunday night.  Tropical
storm conditions are expected and hurricane conditions are
possible by Sunday evening on San Andres.

3. Through Thursday, heavy rainfall from Iota will likely lead to
life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions
of northern Colombia and Central America. Flooding and mudslides in
Honduras and Nicaragua could be exacerbated by Hurricane Etas
recent effects there, resulting in significant to potentially
catastrophic impacts.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  15/0900Z 13.1N  77.3W   70 KT  80 MPH
 12H  15/1800Z 13.4N  78.4W   80 KT  90 MPH
 24H  16/0600Z 13.7N  80.1W   95 KT 110 MPH
 36H  16/1800Z 14.1N  81.7W  110 KT 125 MPH
 48H  17/0600Z 14.3N  83.1W  115 KT 130 MPH
 60H  17/1800Z 14.3N  84.4W   65 KT  75 MPH...INLAND
 72H  18/0600Z 14.2N  85.7W   35 KT  40 MPH...INLAND
 96H  19/0600Z 13.9N  88.7W   20 KT  25 MPH...INLAND
120H  20/0600Z...DISSIPATED

$$
Forecaster Stewart
BULLETIN
Hurricane Iota Intermediate Advisory Number 8A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL312020
700 AM EST Sun Nov 15 2020

...IOTA CONTINUES TO RAPIDLY STRENGTHEN...
...EXPECTED TO BRING POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC WINDS, A 
LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE, AND RAINFALL IMPACTS TO CENTRAL 
AMERICA...


SUMMARY OF 700 AM EST...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...13.2N 77.8W
ABOUT 240 MI...390 KM E OF ISLA DE PROVIDENCIA COLOMBIA
ABOUT 380 MI...615 KM ESE OF CABO GRACIAS A DIOS ON NIC/HON BORDER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...982 MB...29.00 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Providencia
* The coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras/Nicaragua border to
Sandy Bay Sirpi
* The coast of northeastern Honduras from Punta Patuca to the
Honduras/Nicaragua border

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* San Andres

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* San Andres
* The coast of Nicaragua from south of Sandy Bay Sirpi to Bluefields
* The northern coast of Honduras from west of Punta Patuca to Punta
Castilla

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area.  A warning is typically issued
36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of
tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside
preparations difficult or dangerous.  Preparations to protect life
and property should be rushed to completion.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area.  

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

Interests elsewhere in Nicaragua and Honduras should monitor the
progress of Iota.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor
products issued by your national meteorological service.


DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
----------------------
At 700 AM EST (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Iota was located
near latitude 13.2 North, longitude 77.8 West. Iota is moving toward
the west-northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h). A westward to
west-northwestward motion is expected during the next couple of days
until landfall occurs in Central America. On the forecast track,
Iota will move across the southwestern Caribbean Sea today, pass
near or over Providencia island on Monday, and approach the coasts
of Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras Monday night.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (140 km/h)
with higher gusts. Rapid strengthening is expected during the next
day or two, and Iota is forecast to be a major hurricane when it
approaches Central America.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90
miles (150 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 982 mb (29.00 inches).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
Key messages for Hurricane Iota can be found in the Tropical Cyclone
Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT1, WMO header WTNT41 KNHC
and on the web at www.hurricanes.gov/text/MIATCDAT1.shtml.

RAINFALL:  Iota is expected to produce the following rainfall
accumulations through Thursday:

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, Panama, and northern Colombia: 4 to 8 inches (100 to 200
mm), with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches (300 mm).

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

El Salvador and southern Nicaragua: 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm),
with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches (200 mm).

Jamaica: 1 to 3 inches (25 to 75 mm).

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are expected on the island of
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. Tropical storm conditions are expected to
begin on the island of San Andres this afternoon or evening with
hurricane conditions possible there tonight or early Monday.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Tropical Storm
Warning area in Nicaragua by late Monday and in the warning area in
Honduras by Monday night.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as
much as 9 to 13 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.

SURF:  Swells generated by Iota will affect portions of the coast of
Colombia, and the southern coasts of Hispaniola and Jamaica during
the next day or two.  Swells will begin to reach the coasts of
Nicaragua and Honduras tonight and Monday.  These swells are
likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Please consult products from your local weather office.

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