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Hurricane Iota strengthens to become first category 5 storm in 2020

Posted at 10:04 AM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 18:47:33-05

A fast-strengthening Hurricane Iota is now the strongest hurricane yet in this record-smashing season.

Iota became a Category 5 strength hurricane as it heads for the same part of Central America that was battered by a similarly powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.

Iota is the first Category 5 in 2020 and the latest Atlantic calendar year Category 5 hurricane on record.

Evacuations were being conducted from low-lying areas in Nicaragua and Honduras near their shared border, which appeared to be Iota’s likely landfall.

According to the National Hurricane Center, heavy rainfall will "likely lead to life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding" throughout Central America. Iota will also bring the threat of life-threatening mudslides to Nicaragua.

Hurricane Iota is the 30th named storm of the season.

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Scripps National Desk
1:29 PM, Dec 17, 2018

2020 STORM NAMES

Arthur

Bertha

Cristobal

Dolly

Edouard

Fay

Gonzalo

Hanna

Isaias

Josephine

Kyle

Laura

Marco

Nana

Omar

Paulette

Rene

Sally

Teddy

Vicky

Wilfred

TERMS TO KNOW

TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.