Iota – the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season – is expected to continue westward and landslides are expected somewhere in Central America near the Honduras-Nicaraguan border early Monday or Tuesday, CNN meteorologist Tyler Mouldin said.
According to the NHC, the storm is expected to be at or near large hurricane strength before landfall across Central America. A major hurricane is a hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph.
Nicaragua issues hurricane warning from Sandy Bay Sirpi to Honduras border, and Honduras issues hurricane warning from Nicaragua border to Punta Patuka.
2 to 3 feet of torrential rain in parts of those two countries, along with a deadly storm surge.
In addition to delivering harmful winds, the NHC said Iota could pour 8 to 16 inches of rain into Honduras, northern Nicaragua, eastern Guatemala and southern Belize until Thursday – bad news for the area affected by last week’s Eta hurricane.
The NHC forecast 4 to 8 inches of rain in Costa Rica, Panama and northern Colombia until Thursday, and 2 to 4 inches in El Salvador and southern Nicaragua during the same period.
The Colombian government on Saturday issued a tropical storm warning for the islands of San Andres and Providence.
“This rainfall (from Iota) can lead to significant, lethal flash floods and river flooding, with landslides breaking over high areas,” the NHC said.
Central America was devastated by Hurricane Eta
Prior to the storm, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala had poor public health systems fighting against Kovid-19.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Matt Rivers, Natalie Galen and Taylor Ward contributed to the report.