LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Hurricane Iota strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane Monday morning with max sustained winds at 160 mph. This is the first Category 5 hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and it is also the latest date Category 5 hurricane since 1932.
Iota is the 30th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, 13th hurricane and 6th major hurricane (Category 3 or higher).
While Iota underwent rapid intensification Monday, the storm managed to weaken the slightest bit before making landfall Monday night. With winds of 155 mph, Iota made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the coast of northeastern Nicaragua at 10:40 p.m. EST.
Its exact landfall location is Haulover, Nicaragua which is just about 30 miles south of Puerto Cabezas – the landfall location of Category 4 Hurricane Eta on November 3.
Life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and landslides are expected across portions of Central America through Friday.
Iota has weakened significantly since making landfall Monday night. Per the 7 a.m. CST advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Iota is a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph.
It is forecast to continue its westward movement, moving over San Salvador Wednesday afternoon as a tropical depression before entering the Pacific Ocean.
Significant impacts to Central America will likely occur in the meantime.