#Iota Landfall

Iota made landfall overnight as a category 4 hurricane, and is rapidly losing wind speed. But the huge amount of moisture being dragged into Central America means the disaster is really just beginning. Iota is hitting virtually the same areas impacted by Eta two weeks ago. Here are the wind swaths – you can grab the slider with your mouse/finger and move it back and forth to compare …

Comparison: Eta (AL29) and Iota (AL31)

While the coastal damage is significant, it is inland where the major concerns are at the moment. The following map is showing moisture transport, computed from the GFS model as of this morning.

Moisture Transport, valid for 10am EST Tuesday 17 November 2020

As you can tell from the arrows, moist air from both the Pacific and Caribbean are being pulled inland, with a major convergence over central Nicaragua. Combined with the pre-existing damage and saturated soils from Eta, flooding and landslides are inevitable. This is likely to be a historic disaster in Central America. And more bad news is potentially on the way – there is another tropical wave crossing the region, and it is likely to encounter the same favorable environment that spawned Iota, and even if it does not become a formal system, it will bring more rain to the region in five or six days, just as the impacts of Iota would ordinarily be lessening …

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