The Winds of God’s Wrath Continues: Jeremiah 23

There’s still no clear end to the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

Forecasters continue to monitor systems for possible development

Hurricane Season 2020 just won’t quit. It’s shattered records with the most named systems ever observed in the Atlantic, devastated Central America and has left few coastal areas in the eastern U.S. untouched.

Just when it looked like things might simmer, Iota spontaneously swirled as a Category 5 a week and a half before Thanksgiving.

Hurricanes Eta and Iota brought disaster to Central America. Officials can’t retire their names.

On paper, hurricane season ends on Nov. 30, but this season has been far from by-the-books. And looking ahead, it appears the atmosphere may try to get one final word in.

Already, meteorologists are tracking two more “areas to watch” that could be problematic, including near hard-hit Central America. Neither system has a high chance to develop, but their mere presence show that the ocean is not quite done yet.

There may also be a period of conditions mildly conducive to tropical development in the southern Caribbean during the first week or two in December, though with winter coming, we are running out the clock.

Two areas to watch

Satellite imagery showing the remnants of Iota moving into the Pacific and another disturbance in the central Caribbean on Wednesday. (Tropical Tidbits)

On Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami outlined two areas that bear watching for possible tropical development but gave each only a 20 percent chance of becoming a named storm. One system was nestled in the southwest Caribbean, while the other occupied the ocean between the Bahamas and Bermuda.

In the Caribbean, a strip of thunderstorm activity stretched from the shores of northern Venezuela to just south of Hispaniola.

This area of disturbed weather could bring heavy rainfall to portions of Nicaragua, and especially Costa Rica and Panama. Some places, especially in the higher terrain of western Costa Rica and Panama, could see 4 to 8 inches of rain from Friday into Saturday, which could spark flooding. Isolated one-foot totals can’t be ruled out.

In Nicaragua, the rains arrive Saturday into Sunday, with moist flow even yielding sporadic downpours in Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. Rainfall amounts will be highly variable, but renewed flooding is possible in areas that have already seen 30 to 50 inches or more from Hurricanes Eta and Iota.

Hurricane Iota explosively intensified to Category 5 as it bore down on Nicaragua

Meanwhile, a region of low pressure may form between the Bahamas and Bermuda into early next week in advance of an approaching mid-level disturbance over the southern United States. The system will begin as a typical nondescript patch of ocean storminess, but could acquire some subtropical or tropical characteristics as it is swept northeast.

A period of showery and breezy weather is likely Monday into Tuesday in Bermuda as the system passes nearby; it will be simultaneously energized by an atmospheric disturbance. It’s improbable that the system “closes off” into a self-contained storm that earns a name. But, in the unlikely event it does, “Kappa” is up next on the naming list.

An uncertain start to December

Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius. (Tropical Tidbits)

In most years, tropical activity wraps up before Halloween. But not this year. There are mixed signals about what may lie ahead, but the oceans at the very least have enough fuel left for one or two final acts.

In the United States, it’s probably safe to say the season is over, and that no more tropical systems are likely to affect the Eastern Seaboard or Gulf Coast. Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard are still running well above average and could sustain a storm, but the inevitable southward shift of the jet stream will yield harsh wind dynamics that are largely unsupportive.

In the Caribbean and Atlantic, it’s a different story. While there are no immediate signs of any storm potential, we’re firmly in the season where cold fronts can shed a rogue storm or two that manages to take advantage of still-mild seawaters.

Rising motion in the upper atmosphere could kindle any Atlantic or Caribbean disturbance if it was to gain enough gumption, primarily through about Dec. 10. After that, an influx of sinking air, coupled with the cooling waters, should once and for all shut the door on any meaningful storm development.

So until mid-December, any and all Caribbean and southwest/central Atlantic disturbances will have to be watched with scrutiny just as if was September. The atmosphere doesn’t own a calendar, and, as Iota showed when it became the latest-forming Category 5 storm on record early this week, storms care far more about conditions than the time of year.

The Winds of God’s Wrath Destroys Nicaragua: Jeremiah 23

Hurricane Iota Live Updates: Landslide Warning as Storm Hits Nicaragua

17 minutes ago

The storm is barreling across parts of Central America that are still reeling from Hurricane Eta’s impact earlier this month.

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Hurricane Iota is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Tuesday afternoon, the national hurricane center said.

Iota weakens, but risk of landslides and flooding remains high.

The hurricane is barreling across parts of Central America that are still reeling from Hurricane Eta’s impact earlier this month.

Image by Delmer Martinez/Associated Press

Stretches of Central America braced for heavy rain, strong winds and flooding on Tuesday morning as Hurricane Iota bore down on the region, the second hurricane to strike the area in less than two weeks.

Even as Iota weakened after making landfall overnight, the National Hurricane Center warned that it could have an outsized impact as it batters areas still recovering from Hurricane Eta this month, including portions of Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

There could be “life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and landslides” across parts of Central America, the center warned.

Iota, which became a hurricane on Sunday, is expected to produce up to 30 inches of rain as it moves further inland across northern Nicaragua and into southern Honduras overnight into Wednesday. The storm is forecast to dissipate over Central America early Wednesday.

The threat of flooding and landslides loomed over the region as Colombia reported the storm’s first casualty on the island of Providencia, where Hurricane Iota struck as a catastrophic Category 5 overnight before weakening as it approached Nicaragua.

Iota made landfall in northeastern Nicaragua at 10:40 p.m. Eastern time on Monday as a Category 4 storm, with wind speeds up to about 155 miles per hour, according to the hurricane center. With waters rising in the northeastern Nicaraguan city of Puerto Cabezas, hundreds of families evacuated from coastal communities as the storm ripped roofs from homes and hotels.

By Tuesday morning, Iota’s maximum wind speed had decreased to 75 miles an hour and the storm had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, although the hurricane center still warned of the storm’s danger.

No major incidents or loss of life had been reported by the Nicaraguan authorities as of early Tuesday, though infrastructure was damaged in some locations. Iota was expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Tuesday afternoon.

Aid workers struggled to reach communities that were cut off by washed-out bridges, downed trees and flooded roads left by Hurricane Eta, which made landfall this month about 15 miles from where Iota struck.

Iota was expected to move inland across Nicaragua during the morning and across southern Honduras by the evening. On Tuesday morning, the storm’s eye was about 135 miles east of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Philip Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University, said on Twitter that Iota was the strongest November hurricane on record to make landfall in Nicaragua.

Even before Iota made landfall, its winds blew the roof off a makeshift hospital in Puerto Cabezas that had been set up to treat people affected by Hurricane Eta.

Dozens of Indigenous communities were evacuated over the weekend in Nicaragua and Honduras, where the military shared pictures on Twitter of soldiers helping people out of stilted wooden homes and carrying them to safety. One soldier stood in knee-deep water, holding a resident’s pink backpack in the same arm as his service weapon.

Colombia reports first casualty of storm.

Villagers repairing the roof of a house damaged by Hurricane Iota on Monday in San Andrés Island, Colombia.Getty Images

Colombia reported the first casualty of the hurricane on Tuesday morning, with authorities saying that at least one person died and one went missing overnight when the hurricane struck the island of Providencia as a catastrophic Category 5.

President Iván Duque of Colombia said the island had sustained severe material damage that affected 98 percent of its infrastructure. Mr. Duque arrived at the nearby island of San Andrés on Tuesday morning after flying over Providencia to assess the damage.

“Today Colombia is united to address this calamity,” Mr. Duque said at a news conference in Cartagena on Monday night. “Never in the history of our country have we faced a Category 5 hurricane.”

Mr. Duque also said ships from the Colombian navy were anchored off the coast of Providencia and waiting for weather conditions to improve to deliver aid to the island.

Mr. Duque said that the mayor of Providencia was working to clear debris from the runway of the island’s airport.

On Monday. Mr. Duque said that communication with Providencia had been “very bad” because of failures in the telecommunications network, and that the Colombian military was among the agencies helping with the relief effort.

Video footage from Cartagena, a city on the country’s Caribbean coast, showed people wading cautiously through flooded streets alongside half-submerged boats.

Heavy rain caused by Hurricane Iota flooded streets in Cartagena, Colombia, after intensifying on Sunday.

Image by Ricardo Maldonado Rozo/EPA, via Shutterstock

Before sweeping into Nicaragua, Hurricane Iota clipped two Colombian islands that lie east of Central America’s coastline.

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Photos taken on the islands, San Andrés and Providencia, showed trees bending under fierce winds. Colombian officials and news reports said that both islands had suffered electricity blackouts.

In Nicaragua, relief that the hurricane weakened gives way to sorrow.

When Nicaragua awoke on Tuesday after a night of relentless winds and heavy rains, much of the nation clung to a small victory: Hurricane Iota had not yet claimed any lives, the authorities said. The storm, once a catastrophic Category 5, had weakened to a less dangerous Category 1.

But in a poor nation battered by two hurricanes in two weeks, the storm’s impact was still severe. As Iota slammed into Nicaragua’s coast late on Monday, its winds flattened palm trees, ripped off roofs, flooded buildings and downed electricity poles. Heavy flooding inundated roads and homes in the city of Rivas, near the border with Costa Rica, after three rivers overflowed, according to reports on local news and social media.

About 40,000 people were evacuated into shelters, the government said. Residents in the port city of Puerto Cabezas, which bore the brunt of the hurricane’s arrival, spent the night in terror, crammed with their extended families into homes and shelters.

Daisy George West, 61, took shelter with her husband, two siblings and 94-year-old father in the same room in the middle of her house where the family had weathered Hurricane Eta two weeks earlier.

“It’s destroying everything,” she said. “We’re asking the Lord for mercy — mercy, that’s all we have left.”

Dozens of patients in a makeshift hospital set up in Puerto Cabezas for people affected by Hurricane Eta had been evacuated overnight, including three intensive-care patients and three women in labor, Vice President Rosario Murillo said.

Yader Tejada, a 24-year-old student in Puerto Cabezas, took shelter with his family and said the storm had felt like “a nightmare from which I can’t escape.” The hurricane took off part of their roof, which, like most of the homes in the area, is made of flimsy corrugated metal sheets.

“The gusts are like whip lashes, the zinc sheets don’t stop ringing, the trees hit the walls,” Mr. Tejada said. “We haven’t been able to sleep.”

Several of his family members’ homes were destroyed by the storm. “It’s an awful, sad and very painful experience,” he said. “I feel tired, scared, but I’m waiting for this to end soon.”

The storm is hitting a region still reeling from Hurricane Eta.

Soldiers unloading food and humanitarian aid last week in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, which was badly hit by Hurricane Eta.Esteban Biba/EPA, via Shutterstock

Forecasters have warned that Hurricane Iota could compound the destruction caused by Hurricane Eta, which killed at least 140 people throughout Central America after making landfall as a Category 4 storm in Nicaragua.

In Puerto Cabezas, a Nicaraguan city where houses are cobbled together by wood, nails and zinc sheets, families have been sleeping amid the rubble left from the earlier storm. As waters rose on Monday evening, hundreds of families were evacuated. On the eastern side of the city, high winds blew the roofs off some structures.

One resident, Maria Williams, 64, said that after Eta reduced her modest home to rubble, her children improvised a shelter in the same spot. But it was practically on the beach and directly in Hurricane Iota’s line of fire. So she evacuated again, walking through debris left by the last storm to reach her sister’s home.

“This Hurricane Iota is a monster,” Ms. Williams said. “I no longer think I can survive if I stay in this house. I am afraid for myself and my grandchildren.”

Another resident, Rodolfo Altunes, said that he had planned to stay put while Iota hit, but that he and his wife had decided on Monday night to evacuate, with their children in tow, because the wind and storm surges were so powerful.

Two hours after leaving, he learned that his home had been destroyed.

“I am fortunate,” he said. “God loved me.”

The storm complicates efforts to combat the coronavirus.

The responses to Hurricane Iota, and Hurricane Eta before it, have been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic as people fleeing unsafe conditions made their way into crowded shelters where the disease can easily spread.

While outbreaks in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras — the countries expected to be the hardest hit by the storm — have been smaller than those elsewhere in the region, the hurricane could lead to an uptick in transmission. Natural disasters, paired with the ongoing pandemic response, have proved challenging elsewhere this year, and the impact could be more severe in underserved rural communities.

Sofía Letona, the director of Antigua to the Rescue, an aid group in Guatemala that has distributed food and medicine to hundreds of people displaced by Eta, said that her group had set up makeshift clinics in remote areas. But aid workers found widespread illness among those who had fled their homes, including gastritis, fungal infections and infected mosquito bites. Some said they had headaches, a cough and flulike symptoms — all possible signs of the coronavirus.

The hurricanes may intensify the spread of the virus as people crowd into shelters and interact for the first time with aid workers and others from outside their isolated villages. The government provided masks in some shelters, aid workers said, but many others offered no form of protection against the virus.

“More than a risk, it’s a certainty that there will be some kind of massive contagion in rural shelters,” Ms. Letona said.

As Iota moves inland, communities scramble to prepare.

Crossing the Ulua river to evacuate before the arrival of Hurricane Iota on Monday in Santa Barbara, Honduras.Yoseph Amaya/Getty Images

Iota is expected to produce up to 30 inches of rain in some areas of Nicaragua and Honduras through Friday, and intense rainfall could lead to significant flash flooding and mudslides in higher elevations.

As the storm moved west on Tuesday, patches of both nations’ coastlines were under tropical storm warnings.

President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras said on Monday that soldiers were among many personnel in the country, including firefighters and police officers, who had been activated to prepare for Iota’s arrival. He added that people in the storm’s path would receive cellphone messages advising them of risks and evacuation plans.

“The first and most important thing is to save lives,” he said.

The most active hurricane season on record is not over yet.

A view of the ocean Monday from a home along the Nicaraguan coast.Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is set to end on Nov. 30, has had 30 named storms, 13 of them hurricanes. And six of those hurricanes were considered “major”— Eta and Iota among them — meaning Category 3 or higher.

Meteorologists, having exhausted the 21-name list prepared for each hurricane season, turned to the Greek alphabet to name the further new systems. The last time the Greek alphabet was used was in 2005, when 28 storms were strong enough to be named.

This year, storms began two weeks before the Atlantic hurricane season officially kicked off, with the formation of Tropical Storm Albert in mid-May.

In August, midway through the season, scientists upgraded their outlook to say that 2020 would be “one of the most active seasons” and that they expected up to 25 named storms by the time it was over.

By November, even that upgraded expectation was exceeded.

Before Iota hit Nicaragua on Monday, there was Theta, the season’s 29th named storm. It broke the annual record set in 2005, the year that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

Reporting was contributed by Alfonso Flores Bermúdez, Natalie Kitroeff, Yubelka Mendoza, Oscar Lopez, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Mike Ives and Megan Specia.

The Wind of God’s Wrath Becomes a Category 5: Jeremiah 23

Hurricane Iota becomes first Category 5 storm of 2020 season – accuweather.com

Published Nov. 14, 2020 5:17 PM

By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
& Mary Gilbert, AccuWeather meteorologist

The storm will deal a catastrophic blow to a region that is already in the midst of a humanitarian crisis triggered by Hurricane Eta just two weeks ago.

Thirteen days may be all the time between multiple humanitarian crises in Central America. For the second time this month, a dangerous tropical threat looms large across the region. Areas still working to recover from the deadly Hurricane Eta are now under threat from an equally powerful tropical system — Hurricane Iota.

Iota reached Category 5 strength — the first storm of the season to reach the highest status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale — when its winds peaked at 160 mph on Monday morning. Just hours earlier, the record-breaking 30th named storm of the season had strengthened from a Category 2 storm to a Category 4 major hurricane within an hour’s time.

Iota strengthened so quickly that its intensification ranks among three other historic hurricanes — Gilbert in 1988, Rita in 2005 and Wilma in 2005. Also, Iota became the only storm to rapidly strengthen with its central barometric pressure dropping by 1.8 inches of mercury (61 mb) in 24 hours in November.

At 10 a.m. EST Monday, Iota was generating its whipping winds about 25 miles northeast of Isla de Providencia, Colombia, as it continued moving west at 10 mph. AccuWeather meteorologists are forecasting the powerful system to come ashore either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, potentially just miles away from the area where Eta made its catastrophic landfall less than two weeks earlier. Hurricane watches and warnings were in effect for much of the coast.

The above animation shows a visible satellite and infrared view of Hurricane Iota on Monday morning, churning in the western Caribbean Sea (NOAA/GOES-East).

Besides Iota, the most recent major hurricane in the Atlantic was Hurricane Eta. Hurricane Eta made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Nov. 3, in Nicaragua, which was among the top five strongest storms to ever hit the nation. Eta also carved a path of destruction through Honduras and Guatemala, unleashing feet of rain, tremendous flooding and killing more than 100.

Central America is still facing a humanitarian crisis following Eta’s deadly blow. Millions are enduring dangerous conditions in the storm’s wake — with concerns over waterborne diseases and COVID-19 complicating recovery. And the situation is likely to become even more dire as Iota approaches the coast. 

“With Eta having gone through less than two weeks ago, Hurricane Iota will place another devastating blow to the region. No amount of words can describe the problems this system will add to the crisis already occurring in the area,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde said.

Iota is forecast to pick up some forward speed and as it continues to move westward toward the border of Honduras and Nicaragua on Monday. Along the way, heavy rainfall will inundate northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela, as well as southern Jamaica.

In addition to widespread rainfall, Iota will continue to move through an area of low wind shear and warm water — around 84 degrees Fahrenheit — in the western Caribbean Sea, allowing the storm to strengthen even further still.

“Iota is expected to strengthen through Monday and make landfall over the northern coast of Nicaragua Monday evening as a Category 4 hurricane,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll said. “Landfall will occur north of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, north of where Eta made landfall.”

The exact track it takes, the strength and forward speed as it plows onshore in Central America will determine how grim the situation will become.

“The chance is low, but Iota could become a Category 5 hurricane (maximum sustained winds of 157 mph or higher) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale,” Doll added.

Should Iota make landfall in Nicaragua as a hurricane, it would be only the second time in history the country would be hit by two hurricanes in one season. The last time it occurred was in 1971, when Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Edith hit Nicaragua.

In Central America, building seas were the first impact, beginning Sunday evening. Next will be the outer bands of Iota, that will bring heavy rain to Nicaragua and eastern Honduras as early as Monday morning, then gusty winds.

The exact strength of Iota at landfall will dictate the wind gusts experienced by the storm. If Iota makes landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 130 mph (209 km/h) or greater, the effects could be devastating.

“Massive damage to structures is likely and some will be destroyed. Some areas will be uninhabitable for months,” Doll warned.

In addition to the strongest, most distructive winds being found at the coast near landfall, so too will be the most impactful storm surge from Iota.

Storm surge of 1-3 feet (0.3-1 meter) will stretch from near Claura in Honduras to Haulover, Nicaragua, with the most severe surge, 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) between Puerto Cabezas and Nina Yari. This same area experienced coastal inundation from Eta earlier this month.

Even still, the most widespread and greatest threat to lives and property from the new cyclone is expected to be dealt by serious flooding caused by feet of rainfall. Major river flooding and flash flooding could occur with a vast area of 12-18 inches (300-457 mm) across the mountainous terrain of Honduras, the most likely location for the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 30 inches (762 mm).

Even more widespread amounts of 2-4 inches (50-100 mm) are forecast from Guatemala to central Nicaragua, worsening ongoing flooding and clean-up efforts.

With all of the mountainous terrain and the very saturated ground following Hurricane Eta, mudslides are a definite concern with the new tropical threat.

Given the threat posed by devastating storm surge, catastrophic flooding inland and devastating winds, Iota will be a 5 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes over Central America. This is based on the life-threatening heavy rainfall that will lead to catastrophic flooding, damaging winds, storm surge and a number of other economic factors.

The AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes is a 6-point scale with ratings of less than 1 and 1 to 5. In contrast to the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, which classifies storms by wind speed only, the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes is based on a broad range of important factors. In order to better communicate a more comprehensive representation of the potential impact of a storm to lives and livelihoods, the scale covers not only wind speed, but also flooding rain, storm surge and economic damage and loss. Some of these hazards, such as inland flooding and storm surge, in many storms result in more deaths and economic loss than wind.

Tropical Storm Iota developed Friday afternoon in the central Caribbean just hours after the system had become Tropical Depression 31. Iota strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane early Sunday morning and officially became the 13th hurricane of the season. 2020 is now just two shy of the record number of hurricanes to churn in the Atlantic in one season held by 2005.

In fact, this is the first time the NHC has ever gotten this far into the Greek alphabet during a tropical season.

Iota strengthened into a the sixth major hurricane — Category 3 or greater — of the season early Monday morning. Five other major hurricanes churned in the Atlantic this season: Laura, Teddy, Delta, Epsilon and Eta.

According to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University, 2020 is now in a seven-way tie for the second-most major hurricanes in an Atlantic hurricane season. Other years that have had six major hurricanes include 1926, 1933, 1950, 1996, 2004 and 2017. The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season holds the record for the most major hurricanes, with seven total so far.

Possibly even more impressive is how rapidly Iota managed to strengthen over less than 12 hours. On Sunday at 4 p.m. EST, Iota had sustained winds of 90 mph and was considered a Category 1 hurricane. By 1:40 a.m. EST Monday, Iota was a dangerous Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 140 mph.

2020 set the record for the most tropical storms to be named in one Atlantic hurricane season as Theta became the 29th tropical storm of the season last week. Theta has since lost wind intensity and has dissipated, after swirling between the Azores and the Canary Islands Sunday morning. 

The Winds of God’s Wrath strengthen into major, historic Category 4 storm: Jeremiah 23

‘An extremely dangerous situation’: Hurricane Iota tostrengthen into major, historic Category 4 storm

By PAOLA PÉREZ, LYNNETTE CANTOS and LISA MARIA GARZA

ORLANDO SENTINEL

NOV 15, 2020 AT 3:52 PM

Hurricane Iota is quickly gaining strength as it moves closer to Central America, with forecasters at the National Hurricane Center warning the storm could bring catastrophic winds, a life-threatening storm surge and torrential rainfall to the region.

Iota is approaching Nicaragua and Honduras and may be at or near Category 4 strength at landfall, according to the latest forecast.

At 4 p.m. EST Sunday, Hurricane Iota was located about 140 miles east of Isla de Providencia, Colombia, and about 285 miles east-southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border.

Iota’s maximum sustained winds are up to 90 mph with higher gusts, and it’s moving wes across the southwestern Caribbean Sea at 9 mph, the NHC said.

Iota is expected to become a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds as it reaches Central America. It’s the 13th hurricane of the season, and once it reaches Category 3 strength, it would be the sixth major hurricane of the season.

“Rapid strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Iota is forecast to be an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane when it approaches Central America,” forecasters said.

Iota would also be the second major hurricane to form in November after Eta. This would mark the first hurricane season on record with two major hurricane formations in November, according to Colorado State University meteorologist researcher Phil Klotzbach.

Iota’s hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 115 miles from the center. The storm poses no threat to Florida.

“On the forecast track, the core of Iota will move across the southwestern Caribbean Sea today, pass near or over Providencia island late tonight or Monday, and approach the coasts of northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras within the hurricane warning area late Monday,” forecasters said.

[Popular on OrlandoSentinel.com] ‘An extremely dangerous situation’: Hurricane Iota to strengthen into major, historic Category 4 storm »

Iota is expected to produce 8 to 16 inches of rain, with isolated 20- to 30-inch totals, across portions of Honduras, northern Nicaragua, Guatemala and southern Belize through Friday next week, the NHC said.

Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, southern Nicaragua and northern Colombia can expect between 1 to 8 inches, with isolated totals of 12 inches of rainfall.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the island of Providencia; the coast of Nicaragua, from its border with Honduras to Sandy Bay Sirpi; and the coast of northeastern Honduras from Punta Patuca to its border with Nicaragua. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the island of San Andrés.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for San Andrés; the coast of Nicaragua, from south of Sandy Bay Sirpi to Bluefields; and the northern coast of Honduras from west of Punta Patuca to Punta Castilla.

Tropical storm conditions are expected on the islands of San Andrés and Providencia starting Sunday afternoon into the night, with hurricane conditions coming late Sunday into early Monday. Nicaragua and Honduras can expected hurricane conditions by late Monday.

Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions are possible along parts of the coast of Colombia and the southern coasts of Hispaniola and Jamaica over the next day or two, due to swells caused by Iota, forecasters said. These swells will reach the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras Sunday night into Monday.

Iota formed in the Caribbean on Friday afternoon, becoming the 30th named storm of a record-breaking hurricane season. It grew from a tropical depression earlier Friday.

Iota’s familiar path

Iota is moving along the same path that Tropical Storm Eta took two weeks ago, when it headed straight for Central America and also strengthened into a major hurricane.

Unlike Eta, though, Iota is not expected to turn and impact the United States.

The general consensus of spaghetti models shows Hurricane Iota targeting Central America on a similar path to Hurricane Eta. One model shows Iota abruptly stopping and staying north toward Cuba, and another shooting straight for Mexico. (Screenshot Source) (Clarion Ledger Storm Tracker via Mapbox)

Eta thrashed Nicaragua and Honduras as a major Category 4 storm and weakened to a depression over the region’s mountainous terrain. It then turned back towards the Caribbean and redeveloped into a tropical storm to target the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Bahamas and, ultimately, Florida.

“Central America is going to be impacted a lot because they have already seen very heavy rains and strong winds just about ten days ago, and more is on the way,” Fox 35 meteorologist Allison Gargaro said.

People in the region are still grappling with the aftermath of Eta, which has been blamed for the deaths of at least 120 people as its torrential rains brought flash floods and landslides to parts of Central America and Mexico.

Parts of Honduras and Nicaragua are still flooded and recovering from Eta’s damage.

After ravaging the region, Eta then turned, meandered across Cuba, the Florida Keys and around the Gulf of Mexico before slogging ashore again near Cedar Key, Florida. It then dashed across Florida and the Carolinas.

Eta made landfall over Lower Matecumbe Key late last Sunday. It dumped torrential rain across South Florida, causing flooding and whipping up winds and storm surge.

The NHC has stopped tracking Tropical Storm Eta. Forecasters predict Eta and its remnants will accelerate in speed and sprint northeast away from the U.S. (Watch Eta’s historic development here).

[Popular on OrlandoSentinel.com] How will Tropical Storm Eta affect Orlando and Central Florida »

The official end of hurricane season is two weeks away, so if the tropics continue to churn out waves with high chances for development, the world may see more record-breaking figures and potentially more dangerous storms.

The earlier tropical depression tied 2005′s 31 tropical systems. The previous record for named storms was 29, also set in 2005, which was surpassed earlier this week with the formation of Tropical Storm Theta.

(National Hurricane Center)

Theta, now a Post-Tropical Cyclone, is continuing its eastbound journey, last located about 650 miles southeast of the Azores. The storm has weakened to 30 mph maximum sustained winds and is moving at 2 mph.

Honduras and Guatemala brace for the wind of God’s wrath: Jeremiah 23

Honduras and Guatemala brace for next incoming storm | Honduras | Al Jazeera

Still reeling from Hurricane Eta, Central America is expecting heavy rain and winds from Tropical Storm Iota on Monday.

A resident looks at storm damage caused by Hurricane Eta in Planeta, Honduras [Delmer Martinez/AP]

Still reeling from the deadly devastation of Hurricane Eta, Honduras and Guatemala are bracing for another tropical storm to hit the region.

In a statement issued at 10am ET (15:00 GMT) on Saturday, the United States-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that Tropical Storm Iota was expected to strengthen, bringing “dangerous winds, storm surge and rainfall” to Central America starting on Monday.

The storm was located about 545km (340 miles) from Kingston, Jamaica, the NHC said.

Iota is forecast to be at or near major hurricane strength when it approaches Central America,” the agency said in its statement.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Saturday that he had ordered evacuations for areas expected to be affected by the incoming storm.

“We are concerned about the area of Alta Verapaz and Quiche. We believe that they are the areas where we could have the greatest impact,” Giammattei said. “We hope God helps us.”

In Honduras, President Juan Orlando Hernandez also urged people in the path of Iota to evacuate to the nearest shelters. “Iota is going to put our lives and our economy at risk again,” he said.

The region is still recuperating after Category 4 Hurricane Eta struck earlier this month, killing at least 120 people, according to Reuters news agency’s tally.

Heavy rainfall led to deadly flash flooding and landslides in several countries.

On Saturday morning, authorities in Guatemala said a mudslide buried 10 people in the state of Chiquimula near the border with Honduras. Emergency workers said they rescued two people and recovered three bodies, while five others are still missing.

Residents affected by Hurricane Eta stand in a line to receive donated food in Planeta, Honduras [Delmer Martinez/AP]

Guatemala’s Alta Verapaz region has been especially hard hit by Eta, as a mountain partly collapsed in the village of Queja, killing and burying alive dozens of people.

Rescue operations across Honduras and Guatemala were slowed by destroyed roads and bridges, forcing authorities to draft in the military and use helicopters and speedboats to rescue people stranded on top of their houses.

Iota is already a record-setting system, being the 30th named storm of this year’s extraordinarily busy Atlantic hurricane season.

Such activity has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing wetter, stronger and more destructive storms.

We are concerned about the area of Alta Verapaz and Quiche. We believe that they are the areas where we could have the greatest impact. We hope God helps us

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei

The NHC said the storm could lead to life-threatening flash flooding and cause rivers to burst their banks in parts of Haiti, Jamaica and Central America through Wednesday.

Residents of the community of Cruz de Valencia in northwestern Honduras have already begun evacuating.

“We have to get out, we have to save our lives,” resident Erick Gomez told Reuters news agency.

Gomez said he only survived the flooding from the last hurricane by clinging to a tree to avoid being swept away by the rushing water.

“We are afraid of what we just suffered with Eta, and we do not want to go through the same thing again,” he added.

Source : News Agencies

As Eta nears its end, another Wind of God’s Wrath: Jeremiah 23

Tropical Update: As Eta nears its end, Iota is on the verge

Thursday, November 12th 2020

Soon-to-be Iota Satellite

StormWatch7 has been watching Eta for almost two weeks (!) since it first formed in the Caribbean on November 1st. Now, the long-lived storm is nearing its end, leaving behind a wake of flooding and damage across Florida.

Thankfully, Eta impacted the U.S. as a Tropical Storm. Central America saw the strongest part of Eta’s life when it made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane.

Eta’s Path So Far

Eta’s path has been fascinating to say the least, with several stationary reports and changes in direction.  As of 1 p.m. Thursday, the storm is centered just 40 miles NNE of Jacksonville. Max winds are down to 40 mph, and once they drop below 39 mph, Eta will be downgraded to a Tropical Depression.

Eta Observations Thursday Afternoon

The 1 p.m. track update from the National Hurricane center shows Eta hugging the southeast coastline and maintaining its Tropical Storm status through Friday, before finally heading out to sea and losing its steam.

GET THE LATEST TRACK FORECAST HERE

Eta NHC Forecast Track

Tropical Storm Theta is currently in the eastern Atlantic, with no direct threat to land. When Theta formed, however, it set a record as the 29th named storm of the season. The previous record was 28 storms in 2005.

2020 Hurricane Names

Next up will be Iota, the 30th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It is very likely that Iota will form in the Caribbean in the next two days.  Unfortunately for Central America, the initial track looks to be similar to that of Eta, with landfall again possible in Nicaragua.

Tropical Activity

It is unlikely as of now that Iota would repeat Eta’s twists and turns to the U.S. But make sure to stay tuned to StormWatch7 as our record-setting Atlantic hurricane season continues!

The Winds of God’s Wrath Break the Record Books: Jeremiah 23

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Officially Has the Most Named Storms On Record

This season’s 29th named storm, Theta, formed in the eastern Atlantic early on Tuesday

Theresa Machemer

Tropical Storm Theta may hit the Madeira Islands, an autonomous region of Portugal, this weekend. (Courtesy of NOAA )

smithsonianmag.com

The National Hurricane Center named Tropical Storm Theta early on Tuesday, pushing the 2020 hurricane season to a record-breaking 29 named storms. But the season has three weeks left, and another storm is brewing in the Caribbean that could be big enough to name by this weekend, meteorologist Matthew Cappucci reports for the Washington Post.

Many people have been watching this hurricane season closely since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration initially predicted in May that it would be busy. Early estimates predicted up to 19 named storms, and in August NOAA revised their estimate to 25 storms. This summer saw many of the earliest named storms, and by September, the National Hurricane Center ran out of their planned names and began referring to storms as Greek letters.

The last record holding year, 2005 saw 28 named storms, including eight major hurricanes. Three of those, including Hurricane Katrina, reached Category 5 windspeeds. While this year has seen more named storms total, only five have become major hurricanes, and of those, only Laura and Eta made landfall as Category 4 storms, Curtis Segarra reports for Science News.

Meteorologists point to the rise of more sensitive technology that has allowed observers to spot more of the powerful storms in the middle of the Atlantic, even those that don’t make landfall.

“When one wants to do a fair comparison of storms now versus storms in the past, you really have to be careful about how to interpret the raw number,” says Christopher Landsea, chief of the tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center, to the New York Times’ Maria Cramer. “There has been a lot of hype about the record number of storms and, yes, it’s been a busy year. There have been horrific impacts. But is this really a record? The answer is no.”

This year has had a terrible impact on communities on the Louisiana coast, where five storms have made landfall this year. That’s also a new record, one more than in 2002, when four named storms barreled through the same region.

Tropical Storm Theta is not headed toward the United States. It formed in the eastern Atlantic and it’s moving further east. The storm might weaken or stall in its path in the next few days, but by this weekend, it might hit the Madeira Islands, an autonomous region of Portugal, per the Washington Post.

Future scientific research will be able to pin down exactly what has contributed to this year’s high number of named storms, as research published in 2018 nailed down climate change’s contributions to 2017’s devastating hurricane season, Brian Kahn reports for Earther. Climate change is probably contributing to this year’s season, though, since the warmer ocean surface provides the energy that fuels storms. And a La Niña event has cooled the Pacific, which causes a see-saw pressure system effect that warms the Atlantic.

“The fuel supply could make a much stronger storm than we’ve seen,” says MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel to Science News. “So the question is: What prevents a lot of storms from living up to their potential?”

Emanuel points to wind shear, which is the difference in wind speed or direction at different altitudes, which, “doesn’t seem to have stopped a lot of storms from forming this year, but it inhibits them from getting too intense.”

There have also been occasional crowds of named storms in the Atlantic simultaneously, which can dampen the growth of the storms. On September 14, there were five storms in the Atlantic. And right now, Theta is sharing the ocean with Hurricane Eta, which is approaching Florida’s Gulf Coast, per Madeline Holcombe at CNN.

At the same time, a tropical wave system east of the Caribbean is set to combine with a weak cold front and a patch of tropical humidity that could create another swirling storm by this weekend, reports the Washington Post. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts until the end of November, and the next tropical storm, if it forms, would be named “Iota.”

Another Wind of God’s Wrath Makes a Record: Jeremiah 23

Subtropical Storm Theta: 2020 is the busiest Atlantic Hurricane Season on record – Vox

Umair IrfanNovember 10, 2020 12:30 pm

Subtropical Storm Theta, as seen by satellite on November 10, 2020.

NOAA

2020 has broken yet another extreme weather record: the most named tropical storms ever in an Atlantic hurricane season.

Early Tuesday morning, Subtropical Storm Theta formed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center, making it the 29th named storm — a weather system strong enough to warrant an official designation — of the season. This beats the previous benchmark of 28 storms set in 2005. And before 2005, the most active hurricane season was in 1933, with 20 named storms.

Theta is currently projected to move eastward, away from the United States. But a prior storm, Eta, is still churning in the Gulf of Mexico and may hit Florida this week as a tropical storm.

These recent storms highlight just how busy the Atlantic has been this year. Of the 29 storm systems, 12 reached hurricane strength and five reached Category 3 strength or higher, with winds topping 111 mph. In the United States, 12 storms made landfall and six did so at hurricane strength. There were so many storms this year that meteorologists ran through their entire list of official names and are now naming storms after letters of the Greek alphabet.

The record-breaking storm season comes amid a year of searing heat and unprecedented wildfires, with its damage toll worsened by human factors like building in harm’s way and climate change.

Unusual weather, oceanic cycles, and climate change contributed to 2020’s record-setting Atlantic hurricane season

There were some early warning signs that 2020 would be a standout year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipated back in May that the Atlantic hurricane season would be above average. But in August, they had to upgrade their forecast from between 13 and 19 named storms to between 19 and 25, and that forecast still fell short.

One key factor this year was that the Atlantic Ocean was particularly warm. Surface water needs to be at least 26°C, or 79°F, to form a hurricane, so hotter water led forecasters to conclude that more energy would be available to form storms.

Air temperatures were also warmer this year, and 2020 is currently on track to be the warmest year on record. Air can hold on to about 7 percent more water for every degree Celsius it warms up, so warmer air means more moisture is available to fuel storms.

Another variable was the phase of El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, a periodic warming and cooling pattern in the Pacific Ocean. The ENSO pattern this year led to calmer air over the Atlantic, which allowed tropical storms to more easily form. The Atlantic Ocean also goes through a multi-decade warming and cooling pattern. The ocean is currently in its warm phase, which is linked to higher hurricane activity.

A satellite view of Subtropical Storm Theta spooling up in the Atlantic Ocean.

NOAA

Over the long term, humans are increasing the risks from these storms. There continues to be a lot of development in coastal areas vulnerable to tropical storms, increasing the damage tolls from the flooding and winds caused by the storms that occur.

Humanity is also changing the climate. There is a lot of variability in hurricane patterns, making it tough to figure out which factors are the most significant in shaping trends. But scientists say that as average temperatures rise, the raw ingredients for tropical storms and hurricanes amplify. Warmer water, warmer air, and higher sea levels exacerbate the damage from tropical storms, though they may not necessarily affect the frequency of these events.

“As the climate warms, we expect that the upper bound of how intense a hurricane can get … goes up at a certain rate with warming, and that’s been known for 33 years,” Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Vox in August. “More recently it’s also been understood that there is a cap on the rate of intensification, and that goes up faster.”

Emanuel noted that other human factors, like a reduction in sulfur air pollution since the 1980s, is also affecting the formation of tropical storms in the Atlantic.

Together, these factors aligned to create a record-breaking year. And more storms may still lie ahead this season, which officially ends on November 30.

More winds of God’s wrath expected in the Gulf: Jeremiah 23

After Eta, Theta and Iota could be next in busy 2020 hurricane season

Michelle Solomon, Podcast Producer/ReporterBryan Norcross, Hurricane Specialist

Published: November 9, 2020, 3:16 pm

The National Hurricane Center is tracking two more disturbances that could become the 29th and 30th named storms of the season. (National Hurricane Center)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The National Hurricane Center is tracking two more disturbances that have a chance of developing into tropical depressions or tropical storms.

Local 10′s Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross said that it is too early know if the system in the Atlantic is likely to develop into a named storm, while the one in the Caribbean is more uncertain.

A storm is named when winds of 40 mph are registered, according to Local 10′s hurricane specialist.

If it does happen, two more storms during the 2020 hurricane season will bring the count to an unparalleled 29th and 30th named storms of the season. The two names following Eta would be Theta and Iota.

According to the National Hurricane Center, showers and thunderstorms associated with a non-tropical, low-pressure system, located several hundred miles southwest of the Azores, continues to get better organized.

The National Hurricane Center said it expects further development, and a tropical or subtropical storm will likely form during the next day or two while the system moves eastward or east-north eastward over the northeastern Atlantic Ocean.  The NHC said the chance of the storm forming in the next two to five days is high – an 80 percent chance.

However, Norcross said the disturbance in the Atlantic does not appear that it could be a threat to the United States.

The tropical wave forecast to move over the central Caribbean Sea could form in the next couple of days.

Norcross said that one of the storms has a good chance of developing into at least a tropical depression.

“There are no computer model forecasts for the disturbance in the Caribbean that turn it north like Eta did, but it’s going to be moving slowly through the Caribbean and the slow moving systems in those waters are always something we need to keep an eye on.”

Norcross added that the various computer forecast models for the long range keep the system in the Caribbean and do not turn it north. But, if it does, that could be an Eta situation, he said.

How likely is it that we see a Theta or Iota before the end of hurricane season on Nov. 30?

“The one in the Eastern Atlantic is almost certain to get a name and there is a decent chance the system in the Caribbean will get a name, too,” Norcross said.

He did point out that just because Nov. 30 is the official end of the hurricane season does not mean we could be done with disturbances.

“Sometimes in a busy season, storms can form after the end of the November,” he said.

The naming convention has been established by the World Meteorological Organization Tropical Cyclone Programme.

• Alpha – Formed Sept. 17, 2020

• Beta – Formed Sept. 18, 2020

• Gamma – Formed Oct. 2, 2020

• Delta – Formed Oct. 5, 2020

• Epsilon – Formed Oct. 20, 2020

• Zeta – Formed Oct. 24, 2020

• Eta – Formed Nov. 5, 2020

• Theta

• Iota

• Kappa

• Lambda

• Mu

• Nu

• Xi

• Omicron

• Pi

• Rho

• Sigma

• Tau

• Upsilon

• Phi

• Chi

• Psi

• Omega

Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.

The Winds of God’s Wrath becomes a Hurricane over Florida: Jeremiah 23

Eta intensifying; Hurricane Warnings in effect

As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center has the center of Tropical Storm Eta back over the warm water of the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The storm is located 90 miles south of Miami.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Southwest Florida. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Bonita Beach to Englewood.

A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical-storm-force winds are expected somewhere within this area within the next 36 hours.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the coast of southern Florida from Deerfield Beach to Bonita Beach, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay.

A Hurricane Watch means hurricane-storm-force winds are possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours.

A Hurricane Warning means hurricane-storm-force winds are expected somewhere within the warning area.

The latest track brings Eta into the Florida Straits the rest of today where it’s expected to become a hurricane. By tonight, Eta will bend westward and cross near the Florida Keys, and to the south of Southwest Florida.

By Monday afternoon, Eta is forecast to be near the Dry Tortugas. After that, the forecast track is highly uncertain, with Eta expected to meander in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, with a slow northward drift through Friday.

In the meantime, with Eta expected to pass very close to SW Florida, direct impacts can be expected. The main threats are flooding rain and sporadic power outages, with the worst weather occurring Sunday night into Monday.

In terms of rainfall totals, we’re expecting widespread totals of 2-4 inches of rain across Southwest Florida, with isolated amounts as high as 5″ are possible. Localized street flooding is possible in low lying areas.

As far as wind is concerned, we’re calling for sustained winds of 30-40 MPH, gusting as high as 50 MPH. This can cause sporadic power outages, knock down trees & large branches, and blow around outdoor furniture and Christmas decorations. It wouldn’t be the worst idea to check your generator today.