SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -
Hurricane Iota continues to gain strength tonight. A small eye has occasionally appeared in satellite images, and the banding features are well established and it has become fairly symmetric around the center. Iota now has maximum sustained winds of 105 mph with higher wind gusts. The storm is moving west at 10 mph and the pressure is now down to 960 mb. Given the favorable conditions, well-defined structure of the hurricane, and model guidance there is high confidence that significant wind, surge, and rainfall impacts will occur in portions of the hurricane warning area. After Iota moves inland, rapid weakening is expected and the hurricane will likely dissipate over the rugged terrain in Central America in 3 or 4 days. The next complete advisory with a new track will be on Monday at 4:00 am.
1. Iota is expected to continue to rapidly intensify and be an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane when it approaches the coast of Central America on Monday. Potentially catastrophic winds and a life-threatening storm surge are expected along portions of the coast of northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras, where a hurricane warning is in effect.
2. Hurricane conditions are expected and storm surge impacts are possible on Providencia later tonight and Monday. Tropical storm conditions are expected and hurricane conditions are possible on San Andres.
3. Through Friday morning, heavy rainfall from Iota will likely lead to life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions of 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.
Here is the main difference in the path that Hurricane Iota is expected to take compared to the path that Iota took.
Another area of low pressure could form in a few days over the central or southwestern Caribbean Sea. Development, if any, of this system is expected to be slow to occur late this week while the system moves slowly westward across the southwestern Caribbean Sea.