We have some very bad news from the weather service. As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, it looks like it has.
Hurricane Iota is currently a Category 5 storm with wind gusts of more than 160 miles per hour and manages to smash records with two weeks to go in one of the most intense hurricane seasons in 170 years.
This is what is being reported from the National Hurricane Center:
“Iota is expected to remain a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane when it approaches the coast of Nicaragua tonight,” the National Hurricane Center tweeted. “Extreme winds and life-threatening storm surge are expected along portions of the coast of northeastern Nicaragua, where a hurricane warning is in effect.”
An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft and crew made a 10-hour roundtrip flight into the eye of the hurricane to measure wind speeds and barometric pressure. The crew “encountered intense lightning and hail in the southwestern quadrant” before reaching the 15-nautical-mile-wide eye.
Iota is expected to weaken rapidly after making landfall with the “rugged terrain” of Nicaragua and Honduras. But given the storm’s size and strength, Iota will bring “life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions of Central America.” The NHC warned that the lingering effects of Eta on the region could increase the risk of mudslides. Storm surges from Iota could reach as high as 12 feet to 18 feet above normal water levels, and some areas can expect as much as 30 inches of rainfall.