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Hurricane Iota: Projected to hit Central America as a Category 4 hurricane but expected to bring only rain to Belize

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Posted: Sunday, November 15, 2020. 9:57 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Two weeks after Hurricane Eta struck nearly the same area, residents of Nicaragua and Honduras are bracing for Hurricane Iota.

Iota is expected to strengthen rapidly is expected during the next 24 hours, and is forecast to be an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane when it approaches Central America.

The 9 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Miami, places the center of Hurricane Iota near latitude 13.3 North, longitude 80.2 West. Iota is moving toward the west near 10 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. A westward to west-north-westward motion is expected through landfall. After landfall, a westward to west-southwestward motion is forecast. On the forecast track, the core of Iota will pass near or over Providencia Island, Colombia, late tonight or Monday, and make landfall within the hurricane warning area in northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras Monday night.

While Iota is generally expected to stay clear of Belize, southern Belize along with Honduras, northern Nicaragua and Guatemala should see between 8 and 16 inches of rain through Friday, with isolated maximum totals of 20 to 30 inches possible between northeastern Nicaragua and northern Honduras.

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

 

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