Hurricane Iota was dropping heavy rain over Nicaragua and Honduras on Tuesday morning. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Iota was located at latitude 13.7°N and longitude 85.2°W which put it about 135 miles (220 km) east of Tegucigapla, Honduras. Iota was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 980 mb.
ATropical Storm Warning was ineffect for the portion of the coast from Bluefields, Nicaragua to the Honduras/Guatemala border including the Bay Islands.
Hurricane Iota continued to move steadily inland over Nicaragua on Tuesday morning. The center of Iota was just to the east of the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. Hurricane Iota was dropping heavy rain over much of Nicaragua and Honduras. Bands of showers and thunderstorms continued to revolve around the center of Iota. Those rainbands were dropping rain fast enough to cause flash floods over many of the same places that were flooded by Hurricane Eta.
Hurricane Iota will continue to move westward during the next 24 to 36 hours. Iota will weaken to a tropical storm when its center moves over Honduras during the next few hours. Iota will likely be a tropical depression when the center reaches El Salvador on Tuesday night. Even though Hurricane Iota will weaken steadily, it will continue to drop heavy rain over Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. Catastrophic flash floods could occur in that region.
Tropical Storm Eta dropped heavy rain on Nicaragua and Honduras on Wednesday afternoon. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Eta was located at latitude 13.9°N and longitude 85.7°W which put it about 100 miles (160 km) east of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Eta was moving toward the west at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.
The wind speeds in former Hurricane Eta decreased steadily on Wednesday as it move farther inland over northern Nicaragua. Eta weakened to a tropical storm, but the storm continued to drop heavy rain over parts of northern Nicaragua and Honduras. There were reports of flash floods in a number of locations. Thunderstorms in bands on the western and northern periphery of Tropical Storm Eta also dropped heavy rain over parts of Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica. A strong rainband was also over the Caribbean Sea just east of Nicaragua.
Tropical Storm Eta will likely weaken to a tropical depression during Wednesday night. However, Eta will continue to drop locally heavy rain and more flash floods are likely to occur. Tropical Storm Eta will move around the southwestern part of a ridge of high pressure on Thursday. The high will steer Eta toward the west-northwest on Thursday. On its anticipated track Eta will move across Honduras to near the coast of Belize.
A upper level trough east of the Rocky Mountains is forecast to move southeast toward the Gulf of Mexico during the next several days. The southern end of the end of the trough will make a transition into a cutoff low. Counterclockwise circulation around the cutoff low will pull Eta toward the northeast on Friday. When Eta moves over the northwestern Caribbean Sea it will be in an environment somewhat favorable for intensification. Eta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. The upper level trough will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Eta’s circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear may not be strong enough to prevent intensification. Eta could strengthen back into a tropical storm on Friday night. It is possible that Eta could develop the structure of a subtropical storm if the cutoff low causes enough wind shear to keep it from becoming a tropical storm again.
The counterclockwise rotation around the cutoff low will pull Eta more toward the north during the weekend. Eta is likely to move across Cuba and it could drop heavy rain when it does so. Eta will approach the Florida Keys on Sunday and it could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the Keys and South Florida.