Iota is now a Category 4, on the fast track to be a Category Five hurricane at landfall in northern Nicaragua overnight tonight. Here are NHC’s Key Messages regarding Hurricane Iota (en Español: Mensajes Claves). Here is the forecast impact swath using my TAOS/TC model, driven by the NHC forecast:
There’s not much to say about the forecast; it’s straightforward, and Really Really Bad. A category five landfall is always catastrophic, but in this the worst may be inland as the storm take four takes to decay across Honduras, where it will dump a lot of rain across areas already devastated by Eta two weeks ago. This is a mountainous area prone to flood and worst of all mudslides. The potential for thousands of lives to be lost is very real.
A few people have noted the confusing NHC five day outlook graph yesterday and this morning. They seem to show another storm forming in the same place as Iota:
I really dislike this graphic. The problem is that it is showing the CURRENT position of active storms like Iota, but the FUTURE formation potential areas, so it is confusing. NHC needs to show the track of active storms so people know where the storms will be in sync with the potential formation zones … in this case, there is a tropical wave following Iota that will be entering the area that triggered Iota’s rapid intensification. Although it will be less favorable (in part due to Iota sucking up a lot of energy), there is still some potential for the wave to get organized. Here’s the big picture, showing the wave a couple of days behind Iota …