Hurricane Iota Reaches Catastrophic Category 5 Strength as it Barrels Toward Nicaragua
Hurricane Iota reached category 5 strength on Monday, the latest category 5 on record for the Atlantic basin, according to the NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center.
Iota is expected to make landfall sometime Monday night in northeastern Nicaragua.
The National Hurricane Center clocked maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts, a catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. A life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 15 to 20 feet above normal tide levels.
The National Hurricane Center said Iota becomes the latest category 5 storm on record for the Atlantic, with reliable records dating back to 1851.
At 10 a.m. EST on Monday, the center of Hurrricane Iota was located over the southwest Caribbean Sea about 40 miles west of Isla De Proviidencia, Columbia, and about 100 miles southeast of Cabo Gracias A Dios on the Nicaragua / Honduras border, and moving toward the west near 9 mph.
Iota became this hurricane season’s 30th named storm on Friday, beating the old record of 28 set in 2005. The storm is taking a similar Hurricane Eta, which ripped through the same area as a category 4 hurricane earlier this month and left more than 100 dead.
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