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WxWatcher007

Category 5 Hurricane Iota

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4 minutes ago, hawkeye_wx said:

And that's it for recon.  They did a great job keeping the data flowing over the last couple days. :thumbsup:

They definitely redeemed themselves after the Eta fiasco. Very definitely could be their last non-training flights of the year, and what a way to go with non-stop long distance flights into a Cat 5.

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Off topic, but some background on where Iota is slamming:

https://www.roughguides.com/nicaragua/atlantic-coast/

Nicaragua’s low-lying Atlantic coast makes up more than half the country’s total landmass. It’s mostly composed of impenetrable mangrove swamps and jungle, and as such only a few places in the region attract visitors in any number: Bluefields, a raffish port town, the idyllic Pearl Lagoon just to the north, and the Corn Islands, which boast sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and a distinctly Caribbean atmosphere. Outside these areas, the coast remains an untouristed tangle of waterways and rainforests, and should be approached with caution and negotiated only with the aid of experienced locals and good supplies of food, water and insect repellent. Indeed, there is only one actual town in the northern half of the coast – Puerto Cabezas. Few travellers make the trip (flying is the only real transport option), but the impoverished town has a unique feel and is the best access point for the Miskito-speaking wildernesses of the northeast.

The possibilities for ecotourism in this vast, isolated coastal region are obvious, though a scarcity of resources and a lack of cooperation between central and local government have so far stymied all progress, while the long-discussed highway linking Managua and Bluefields has failed to leave the drawing board.

Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas)

Small and scruffy PUERTO CABEZAS, or BILWI, as it’s been officially named in defiance of central governmental control (the name means “snake leaf” in the Mayangna-Sumo indigenous tongue), is the most important town north of Bluefields and south of La Ceiba in Honduras. Everyone seems to have come to this town of thirty thousand people in order to do some kind of business, whether it be a Miskito fisherman walking the streets with a day’s catch of fish dangling from his hand, a lumber merchant selling planks to foreign mills, or the government surveyors working on the all-season paved road through the jungle that may one day link the town with Managua. The people are mostly welcoming, and more used to foreigners than you might expect, thanks to a relatively heavy NGO presence.

The town’s amenities are all scattered within a few blocks of the Parque Central, a few hundred metres west of the seafront. The water at the small local beach below the hotels can be clear and blue if the wind is blowing from the northeast, although the townspeople usually head to Bocana beach a few kilometres north of town; taxis can take you here. The river water is not safe to bathe in and you need to watch your belongings as there are often a few dodgy characters around.

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La dee dee been offline all day wonder what's going on on Amwx!..... .... .... .. ... and we're walking awayyyy slowly, okkkk running, ok great running OK SPRINTING JUST GOTTA KEEP SPRINTING!!!!!! That was quite the raging dumpster fire. 

 

So my impression of the data fwiw, is, they almost definitely did keep 5 for continuity and messaging. This is not a well developed country for starters. They don't have a robust well educated meteorological media to widely explain how, a high end cat 4, is just as bad for them impact wise as a 5. From the perspective of anyone in the storms path, they won't know the difference. Also, most don't speak English, a FEW may read the Spanish key points, MOST only know the NUMBER. So that convo would go..."oh, its a 4 now? Ok we don't have to leave, it's *weakening*". As several posters state, the nhc has to balance a lot of things when they make their cat call. For the same reason, zeta, likely a 3 at landfall, was kept a a 2. Don't want people rushing onto the roads right before landfall. As an online forum we can indeed look at the data and interpret the data in a pure scientific lens. Also, the final recon did show some higher level winds on the exit, and several vdms were in the marginal camp, to the extent that at the nhc one could probably overlook some of the data and "blend" the overall picture to cat 5. Of course, we aren't in Miami, most of us at least, so, we can't say if the hunters reported additional data that warrants 160. Based on reported sfmr, fl winds data though, I doubt that, along with those on here qualified to opine on such.

 

16 minutes ago, cptcatz said:

They definitely redeemed themselves after the Eta fiasco. Very definitely could be their last non-training flights of the year, and what a way to go with non-stop long distance flights into a Cat 5.

Who wants to bet that this isn't the last hhunters storm of the season *raises hand*? Look I hear ya, but we said that after Delta. Then Zeta. Then Eta. And now Iota. I'm too old to go to a frat party! And the water is still quite warm. Any time shear remains low through probably Jan, we are not out of the woods. Maybe we are done with 5s. Maybe majors. Then again I thought that after the first couple of greeks so I am out to lunch now and I'm discarding my own expectations lol. 2020, expect-the-unexpected TM.

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1 hour ago, Prospero said:

When Eta was approaching I did some due-diligence on the area. Not a lot of urban areas anywhere near Puerto Cabezas. That is "the" urban area, and even though it sounds like a pretty place to visit if the Gvt was open to tourism, it is very poor. They are still recovering from Felix in 2007. That does not mean their lives are any less important, but doubtful they have anywhere to evacuate to, if they even could.

The small islands do evacuate and they should be empty except whoever refuses to go.

When I said inland urban areas I was speaking about places susceptible to the flooding and landslides like Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choluteca, San Salvador- and smaller urban areas throughout Nicaragua/Honduras/etc. that are still dealing with problems from Eta or had problems with Mitch.  Most of the deaths from Eta were nowhere near the coast. Hopefully everyone evacuated to higher ground/a shelter or strong building in the coastal bullseye zone with this Iota as well. Hopefully it will not drop as much rain as expected and will move out of the area at a decent rate and not sit around like Eta.

 

*After this we will have to watch the orange blob and see what happens there.

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Satellite presentation has noticeably degraded. Warming tops and very irregular and shrinking eye. I think this attempted an ewrc at the perfect time. I'm thinking this may be below cat 5 strength but regardless a strong 4 or low end 5, this will still be catastrophic 

b6009947-4dde-4053-9097-4b2f0234804e.jpeg

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FYI:  Some [more] interesting local Nicaraguan information, pics, maps, links, etc., on the Puerto Cabezas and Wawa* Bar area. Plus a potential local donation channel that is already in operation [since at least Eta], and looks trustworthy:

"Salvadora Morales, fundraising for her indigenous community, directly in the path of Eta, now Iota--"

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/11/16/1996223/-Salvadora-Morales-fundraising-for-her-indigenous-community-directly-in-the-path-of-Eta-now-Iota

"On November 3rd, Hurricane Eta hit northeast Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, decimating homes, knocking out power, and causing massive flooding. The community of Wawa Bar returned from evacuating to find tremendous devastation. Salvadora Morales, originally from Wawa Bar and part of the indigenous Miskito community, set up the linked GoFundMe soon after to help her family and their neighbors get the emergency support they need.

After setting up the GoFundMe they never imagined that only 2 weeks later, they would be watching another hurricane with Wawa Bar in its path. Hurricane Iota is forecasted to come ashore in the same part of Nicaragua as a category 5 with 160mph winds. The community worries that the structures that survived Eta might not fare as well in Iota, since there hasn’t been much time to repair any damage.

Salvadora Morales is a conservation specialist with wide experience working towards solutions for the environmental problems of our world. She co-founded Grupo Quetzalli in Nicaragua, with the mission: “To be agents of change for the conservation of the environment and sustainable development, applying science.” She works with shrimp aquaculture and salt producers to promote best management practices to benefit shorebirds. She coordinates the Point Blue’s Migratory Shorebird Project in Central America. She led the process to establish Ometepe as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. She’s worked on the Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forests initiative, facilitating the development and implementation of indigenous land rights projects.

She is a fierce advocate for the people, wildlife, and environment of Nicaragua, and I am honored to call her a colleague and friend. Sharing her GoFundMe page to Daily Kos where I know she can find support, is the least I can do to help her in such a terrible moment.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-wawa-bar-recover-from-hurricane

Thank you for any support you might be able to offer.  Even the smallest contribution would be extremely valuable to this devastated community. Funds will be used for the basics like clean water, food, medical supplies, and clothes. "

 

[ * Anybody familiar with Wawa, Ontario, Canada? Used to vacation in Killarney, Ont [family ties], and went up to Wawa a couple of times. An interesting place fifty years ago,  Sudbury however was literally a 'moonscape'.]

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Cat 5 to dissipated in 48 hours 

Hurricane Iota Discussion Number  15
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL312020
1000 PM EST Mon Nov 16 2020

Iota is about to make landfall on the coast of northeastern
Nicaragua about 30 miles south-southwest of Puerto Cabezas.
Satellite images show that the hurricane is very powerful with a
circular well-defined eye and a fairly symmetric convective ring
surrounding that feature.  The Air Force Hurricane Hunters were
investigating Iota earlier this evening and found that the minimum
pressure was fairly steady at around 920 mb.  Based on the aircraft
data, including 143-kt flight-level winds, the initial intensity is
set at 135 kt.

Iota is moving to the west at about 8 kt and this general motion is 
expected to continue during the next couple of days, taking the 
cyclone across northern Nicaragua and southern Honduras.  Rapid 
weakening is forecast as Iota moves inland, and the cyclone is 
anticipated to dissipate over the rugged terrain of Central America 
on Wednesday. The NHC track forecast follows the various consensus 
models, and the intensity forecast is close to the Decay-SHIPS 
guidance.

This is a catastrophic situation for northeastern Nicaragua with an 
extreme storm surge of 15-20 ft forecast along with destructive 
winds and potentially 30 inches of rainfall.  In addition, the 
situation is exacerbated by the fact that Iota is making landfall in 
almost the exact same location that category 4 Hurricane Eta did a 
little less than two weeks ago.

Key Messages:

1.  Iota is a catastrophic hurricane. Extreme winds and a
life-threatening storm surge are expected along portions of the
coast of northeastern Nicaragua during the next several hours, where
a hurricane warning is in effect.

2.  Life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding is expected 
through Thursday across portions of Central America due to the heavy 
rainfall. Flooding and mudslides in Honduras and Nicaragua 
could be exacerbated by Hurricane Etas recent effects there, 
resulting in significant to potentially catastrophic impacts.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  17/0300Z 13.6N  83.4W  135 KT 155 MPH...NEAR THE COAST
 12H  17/1200Z 13.7N  84.7W   75 KT  85 MPH...INLAND
 24H  18/0000Z 13.8N  86.8W   45 KT  50 MPH...INLAND
 36H  18/1200Z 13.8N  88.8W   30 KT  35 MPH...INLAND
 48H  19/0000Z...DISSIPATED

$$
Forecaster Cangialosi/Roberts
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4 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

One met on Twitter I follow pointed out the irony in the name being Iota yet it ends up being our strongest hurricane of the season...lol

It’s an I storm. Of course it is the strongest. 

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25 minutes ago, the ghost of leroy said:

It’s an I storm. Of course it is the strongest. 

Irene 

Ike

Isidore

Isaac

Ida (or Nor’Ida)

Isabelle

Irma

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

One met on Twitter I follow pointed out the irony in the name being Iota yet it ends up being our strongest hurricane of the season...lol

It's called Iota because it won't get one iota of news coverage

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1 hour ago, TheSnowman said:

Just Horrible.  And WHY has no one talked about that this hit the Isle [sic, Isla] de Providencia at Category 5 Strength?  98% of the buildings there are heavily damaged!  

 

https://twitter.com/RousselJulio/status/1328486375017095168?s=20    

I mentioned the probable destruction of Providencia Island a few hours ago, others have earlier in this thread.

BTW, in your given twitter link with the video, the comments following the originator's refuted the authenticity of the video, stating that the video was from Puerto Rico in 2017, Hurricane Irma; not Iota sanding off Providencia today, which BTW, is part of Columbia  [twit thread all in Spanish of course, are you conversant en Español? No, I'm not going to translate it for you, 'ta 'ueno.]

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The stronger system tracks further north theory didn't pan out here.   

The ECMWF did better on the track, and the GFS did better on the intensity.

Honduras and Guatemala got lucky, the southern track likely cut rainfall totals in half. 

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1 hour ago, Amped said:

The stronger system tracks further north theory didn't pan out here.   

The ECMWF did better on the track, and the GFS did better on the intensity.

Honduras and Guatemala got lucky, the southern track likely cut rainfall totals in half. 

And the 2020 trusty HWRF did a terrible job on the track (had it going into the Yucatan for most of its runs)

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Phony link on twitter aside, it is apparent that the island of Providencia was hit very hard. Iota went right over it while at Category 5 strength. Note that Eta missed the island as it was moving southwest prior to landfall.

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1 hour ago, dan11295 said:

Phony link on twitter aside, it is apparent that the island of Providencia was hit very hard. Iota went right over it while at Category 5 strength. Note that Eta missed the island as it was moving southwest prior to landfall.

" Ninety-eight percent of the Colombian island’s infrastructure is damaged and one person has died in the category five hurricane, government says."

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/17/everythings-been-destroyed-iota-hits-providencia-island

 

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Now two dead on Providencia, 6 seriously injured, over 100 evacuated off the island and one person is missing. 6 people known dead in Nicaragua. 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/17/weather/hurricane-iota-tuesday/index.html

Quote

At least two people are dead and one is missing on Providencia, Colombia President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. One hundred and twelve people were evacuated from the island Tuesday, among them six seriously injured.

Quote

(CNN)Iota is now considered the strongest storm to hit Nicaragua in the country's history and has killed six people, according to the Nicaraguan government.

Four adults and two minors are dead, according to Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo.
Quote

There is almost no communication with the city of Bilwi, also known as Puerto Cabezas, due to blackouts and fallen electrical cables.

 

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1 hour ago, CheeselandSkies said:

First images out of Providencia appear consistent with a Category 5 impact. :(

 

The single most telling wind damage from hurricanes is tree damage. Structural damage is difficult to asses in pictures because we don’t know how well built the buildings were, or if surge or other factors were involved. Trees defoliated, de-limbed completely, and debarked point to the upper limit of hurricane winds. I had hoped the eyewall stayed just north of them but these images are definitely high end hurricane damage. 

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I had hoped the southern eyewall would miss Providecia. It looks like they weren't so lucky.

 

 

If you notice the image posted of the on-board radar panel here, the island was contained within the southern eyewall's strongest echoes. Though they may not have been crossed by the most intense portion of the inside eyewall edge nor highest core wind. This is only my speculation, of course. It is likely based on the radar image and these ground images that they did get hit by at least Cat 4 sustained winds and gusts even if they might have barely missed Iota's peak wind on the southern inside edge of the eyewall.

c45f555ec3d46100056686157218e9cf.jpg&key=43f651ef0aeba24fe2e8eb83203e98b575674c1429e9c212818cb3139b63f72e

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Mostly inland footage of Nicaragua and Honduras:

The video description has some good info on local impacts and evacuee numbers.  Can't confirm this footage is solely Iota, let alone from Nicaragua/Honduras but it seems legit.

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