January 26, 2021

Hurricane forecasters tracking new disturbance in Caribbean, in addition to Hurricane Iota

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BY CARLIE KOLLATH WELLS From NOLA.COM

Hurricane forecasters on Monday morning were tracking a new disturbance in the Caribbean, in addition to Hurricane Iota, which had strengthened into a dangerous Category 5 storm on its way toward Central America.

Hurricane Iota is not expected to be a threat to Louisiana. Forecasters say it will make landfall Monday night in Nicaragua and then dissipate by Wednesday.

It’s too early to tell where the new Caribbean disturbance could go if it develops. The shaded area on the graphic is where it could develop and is not a track. The National Hurricane Center releases a track when a system develops into a tropical depression or is about to develop into one.

Here’s what to know about the tropics as of Monday morning.

Hurricane Iota strengthening in Caribbean

Hurricane Iota had strengthened into a catastrophic Category 5 storm Monday morning, forecasters said.

It’s expected to hit the same parts of Nicaragua and Honduras that were hit just over a week ago by Hurricane Eta.

Hurricane Iota is expected to bring catastrophic winds, life-threatening storm surge up to 18 feet and up to 30 inches of rain to parts of Central America, the National Hurricane Center said. 

As of 9 a.m., Iota was about 40 miles west of the Isla de Providencia, Colombia, and about 100 miles southeast of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. It’s moving west at 9 mph.

It has winds of 160 mph, making it a “catastrophic Category 5 hurricane,” forecasters said. Rapid weakening is expected after landfall, forecasters said. 

On the forecast track, the core of Iota will make landfall within the hurricane warning area in northeastern Nicaragua on Monday night, and will dissipate over central America by Wednesday.

Read the full advisory.

Disturbance possible in the Caribbean

Forecasters on Monday say a new area of low pressure could form in a few days over the central or southwestern Caribbean Sea. 

Some gradual development is possible late this week while the system moves slowly west across the Caribbean, forecasters said.

It has a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression within five days.

It’s too early to say where the system could go if it develops.

See the full outlook.

Record-breaking hurricane season

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season holds the record for the most named storms in a season – 30. The previous record of 28 was set in 2005.

For more on this story go to: NOLA.COM

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