Dangerous Hurricane Iota hit Nicaragua with powerful winds and heavy rain on Monday night. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Hurricane Iota was located at latitude 13.6°N and longitude 83.4°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Iota was moving toward the west at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 185 m.p.h. (300 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 920 mb.
A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Patuca, Honduras.Tropical Storm Warnings were ineffect for the portions of the coast from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua and from Punta Patuca to the Honduras/Guatemala border including the Bay Islands. Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for San Andres and Providencia Island.
Hurricane Iota was a powerful hurricane when it made landfall on the coast of Nicaragua just to the south of Puerto Cabezas. Iota was at Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Winds to hurricane force extended out 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 175 miles (280 km) from the center, The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Iota was 33.3. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 16.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 49.6. Iota was capable of causing regional significant damage.
Hurricane Iota made landfall on the same portion of the coast of Nicaragua devastated by Hurricane Eta two weeks ago. Iota will compound the damage caused by Eta. Strong winds will cause additional damage and they will destroy temporary shelters erected after Hurricane Eta. The winds blowing water toward the coast could cause a storm surge of up to 20 feet (6 meters) south of Puerto Cabezas.
Hurricane Iota will continue to move toward the west during the next 48 hours. On its anticipated track the center of Iota will move across northern Nicaragua, southern Honduras and El Salvador. The winds around Hurricane Iota will weaken steadily as it moves inland. Iota will drop heavy rain over Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. The heavy rain will cause flash floods and some floods will occur in the same locations flooded by Hurricane Eta.
Major Hurricane Eta made landfall on the coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday afternoon. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Eta was located at latitude 13.8°N and longitude 83.5°W which put it about 15 miles (25 km) south-southwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Eta was moving toward the west at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (265 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 940 mb.
A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to the Honduras/Nicaragua border. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Honduras/Nicaragua border to Punta Patuca, Honduras.
Hurricane Eta moved very slowly onto the coast of Nicaragua just to south of Puerto Cabezas on Tuesday afternoon. Concentric eyewalls developed around the center of Eta before it made landfall. The start of an eyewall replacement cycle caused the intensity of Hurricane Eta to remain relatively steady as it approached the coast of Nicaragua. An environment favorable for strong hurricanes allowed Eta to continue to be a major hurricane at the time of landfall.
Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of Hurricane Eta at the time it made landfall. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Eta was 28.3. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 9.4 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 37.7.
Hurricane Eta was capable of causing significant wind damage. over northeastern Nicaragua. The northern eyewall which contained the strongest winds passed over Puerto Cabezas. Eta could also cause a storm surge of 15 to 18 feet (5 to 6 meters) along the coast near Puerto Cabezas. Hurricane Eta will weaken as it moves slowly inland over northern Nicaragua and the wind speeds will decrease quickly. Eta will drop very heavy rain over northern Nicaragua and Honduras. Some locations could receive 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 cm). The heavy rain could cause catastrophic flash floods in parts of Nicaragua and Honduras.
Eta will move more toward the northwest on Wednesday and the circulation could emerge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday. There is a chance that Eta could strengthen back to a tropical storm if the circulation moves back over water. Eta could bring gusty winds and rain to the Florida Keys by Sunday.