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Since 2012 on the now retired Weather Underground blogs, I have been posting annotated "birdseye view" charts of the Atlantic basin, with a detailed explanation and forecasting that references the chart. From there you may know me as "NCHurricane2009." While I now do these "birdseye view" posts here, I will continue to do comments at Yale Climate Connections via Disqus where the former Weather Underground community has moved to. Feel free to reply to me there, at my Disqus feed at this link, or via e-mail at 

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*******Note that forecasts and outlooks in this post are NOT the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). They are my own detailed views on the Atlantic tropics based on current observations and latest computer model runs. As such do not make decisions based on my posts...consult news and warnings from your local weather office...and any evacuation orders issued by local governments to make the most informed and best decisions. Visit the NHC website (hurricanes dot gov) for the latest watches/warnings and official forecasts on active tropical cyclones.**********

...MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2020 8:39 AM EDT...

Satellite Image of Hurricane Iota as of 1310Z:

Iota has rapidly intensified into a category 4 hurricane overnight...and as of 7 AM EDT is now a top end category 4 with 155 mph maximum sustained winds. Although I previously forecast Iota to reach this strength....this has occurred sooner than I previously anticipated. Assuming that no eye wall replacement cycle occurs...category 5 strength is likely as the surface central pressure of the hurricane is still dropping quickly (from 933 mb at 4 AM EDT to 925 mb as of 7 AM EDT). This is a very intense and catastrophic hurricane! A second wave of catastrophe in Nicaragua and Honduras is almost certain at this point not long after Hurricane Eta devastated this region with powerful winds and catastrophic rainfall flooding...and unfortunately interests here need to rush preparations for Iota to completion this morning as conditions will begin to deteriorate later today. In addition to catastrophic wind and coastal storm surge near the landfall area...the mudslide and flooding potential is also high with Iota due to the slow forecast track...and extends to Costa Rica and El Salvador given the large size of the storm.

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