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Hurricane IOTA

Hurricane Iota Discussion Number   9
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL312020
1000 AM EST Sun Nov 15 2020
Iota continues to rapidly strengthen.  The hurricane has an
impressive appearance in visible satellite imagery with a very
symmetric Central Dense Overcast and excellent banding features in
all quadrants.  The outflow has become well established and recent
microwave satellite imagery has shown a 37-GHz eye feature and a
mid-level eye that was not quite closed.  A TAFB Dvorak
classification of T4.5 was the basis for the 75-kt 1200 UTC
analyzed intensity, and with the continued improvement in structure
the advisory wind speed is set at 80 kt.  An Air Force Reserve
Hurricane Hunter aircraft is currently en route to the storm.
Iota is located within an extremely conducive environment for
strengthening.  The upper-level wind pattern is forecast to remain
quite favorable while the storm crosses sea surface temperatures of
28.5-29 degrees C. As a result, continued rapid strengthening is
expected during the next 24 to 36 hours, and Iota is forecast to
become a potentially catastrophic category 4 hurricane before it
reaches the coast of northeastern Nicaragua or eastern Honduras.
A difficult-to-predict eyewall replacement cycle could cause the
intensity to begin to level off when Iota nears the coast.  The new
NHC intensity forecast calls for continued rapid strengthening and
is in good agreement with the SHIPS and HFIP corrected consensus
models. After landfall, rapid weakening should occur as Iota moves
over the mountainous terrain of Central America.
The hurricane has begun moving faster toward the west-northwest, 
with a long-term motion estimate of 285/8 kt. The steering currents 
ahead of Iota are well established as a strong mid-level ridge 
is located over the western Atlantic and Florida.  This should keep 
Iota on a westward to west-northwestward heading through landfall.  
After landfall, a westward to west-southwestward track is 
anticipated.  The global models are in good agreement on this 
scenario and the updated NHC track forecast is only adjusted a 
little north of the previous track to be closer to the latest 
multi-model consensus aids.
Key Messages:
1. Iota is expected to continue to rapidly intensify and be an
extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane when it approaches the
coast of Central America on Monday.  Potentially catastrophic
winds and a life-threatening storm surge are expected along portions
of the coast of northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras where a
hurricane warning is in effect.
2.  Hurricane conditions are expected and storm surge impacts
are possible on Providencia tonight and Monday.  Tropical storm
conditions are expected and hurricane conditions are possible by
this evening on San Andres.
3. Through Thursday, heavy rainfall from Iota will likely lead to
life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions
of northern Colombia and Central America. Flooding and mudslides in
Honduras and Nicaragua could be exacerbated by Hurricane Eta’s
recent effects there, resulting in significant to potentially
catastrophic impacts.
INIT  15/1500Z 13.3N  78.5W   80 KT  90 MPH
 12H  16/0000Z 13.8N  79.7W   95 KT 110 MPH
 24H  16/1200Z 14.2N  81.4W  110 KT 125 MPH
 36H  17/0000Z 14.4N  82.9W  120 KT 140 MPH
 48H  17/1200Z 14.5N  84.3W   80 KT  90 MPH...INLAND
 60H  18/0000Z 14.4N  85.5W   45 KT  50 MPH...INLAND
 72H  18/1200Z 14.3N  86.8W   30 KT  35 MPH...INLAND
 96H  19/1200Z 13.8N  89.8W   20 KT  25 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
120H  20/1200Z...DISSIPATED
Forecaster Brown