Hurricane Iota continues to rapidly strengthen – WZVN-TV

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Hurricane season officially ends at the end of November. The tropics are still performing in mid-season form with two tropical systems spinning. 

Hurricane Iota continues to spin off in the west Caribbean, it is very close to where Eta was in the Caribbean, more than a week ago. It has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and is moving to the west-southwest at 7 mph. It will continue generally-west, and strengthen as it does so. 

Iota continues to rapidly strengthen and is forecast to become a major hurricane before it makes landfall Tuesday. Models are consistent in bringing it to Nicaragua and then raking it over Central America. 

As it does so, it will produce dangerous flooding. Iota is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain, with local 12-inch totals, across portions of northern Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica.

Across the remaining sections of Central America, the system has the potential to produce 20 to 30 inches of rain with a focus across northern Nicaragua and Honduras. This rainfall would lead to significant, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with landslides in areas of higher terrain.

There are no clues that it makes a turn similar to Eta at this point, but as with any system in the Caribbean, Iota bears watching.

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