Tag Archive for: Central America

Iota is Anything But, Now Cat 5 and Getting Stronger


Ironic Meaning of Iota

Iota is anything but. The word itself is synonymous with “bit, mite, speck, scrap, shred, ounce, scintilla, little bit, particle, smidgen, and tad.” Instead it’s a monster Category 5 hurricane with winds exceeding 160 mph. And the storm is still strengthening.

Iota is in the left of the image, halfway down.

How ironic! Iota is a very impressive hurricane, especially for this late in the year, with a distinct, warm eye on satellite images. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found maximum flight-winds of about 147 kt and a central pressure of about 917 mb. 147 knots equals 169 mph.

And that makes Iota the latest category 5 on record for the Atlantic basin. A little more strengthening is possible today with fairly light shear and warm waters before Iota makes landfall tonight.

National Hurricane Center

Strike 2

Rapid weakening is anticipated over central America, and Iota should dissipate in a couple of days. The hurricane is moving westward at 9 kt. After landfall, the cyclone should move a little faster, and dissipate over the higher terrain of central America.

The new forecast is a little south of the previous one, mostly owing to the initial position.

This is a catastrophic situation unfolding for northeastern Nicaragua with an extreme storm surge of 15-20 ft forecast along with destructive winds and potentially 30 inches of rainfall. It is exacerbated by the fact that it should make landfall in almost the exact same location that category 4 Hurricane Eta did about two weeks ago.

Iota should strike the eastern coast of Nicaragua later today as a Category 5 hurricane.

Posted by Bob Rehak based on National Hurricane Center Data

1175 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Eta Kills At Least 57 in Central America

The National Hurricane Center estimates Hurricane Eta, which made landfall as a Cat 4 storm, dropped up to 40 inches of rain on Central America.

Shades of Harvey; Up to 40 Inches of Rain

This Associated Press story, datelined San Pedro Sula, in Honduras, brought tears to my eyes. The 20 pictures reminded me of Hurricane Harvey.

  • A pregnant woman in pain being carried to safety in waist deep water.
  • Families carrying crying babies on shoulders and hips.
  • Dazed elderly women and men.
  • Bewildered pets.
  • Streets and homes flooded in waist deep water.
  • People stranded on rooftops.
  • Rescue boats without motors struggling against currents.
  • Evacuees carrying belongings in plastic bags and baskets to higher ground.
  • The rescued, sleeping in pup tents.

Food Supply Jeopardized

Food supply is a real concern according to aid workers. “The country’s road network is badly damaged, airports were closed and much of the Sula valley, the country’s most agriculturally productive, was flooded,” said the story.

Sanitation will be a real issue, too. People are already struggling with Covid.

Landslides Bury Towns

In Guatemala, a landslide in the central part of the country hit the town of San Cristobal Verapaz, burying homes and leaving at least 25 dead. At least another 50 people were missing in two more slides. And government rescue teams had not yet reached the sites.

The impacts of Eta will be as far-reaching and long lasting as Harvey’s. But the people in Central America have far fewer resources to help them recover.

The International Monetary Fund lists the gross domestic product per capita of Honduras at $6,068 dollars. Nicaragua is even less – $5,681.

Please help if you can through your favorite relief organization.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/6/2020 based on an AP story

1165 Days since Hurricane Harvey