Monstrous Hurricane Iota leaves scenes of disaster

Hurricane Iota was the latest known Atlantic hurricane ever to attain Category 5 intensity, and only the second Category 5 Atlantic hurricane to exist within the month of November on record—the other being the 1932 Cuba hurricane. (source: Wikipedia)

This Region Was Just Hit By The Strongest Hurricane Of The Year For A Second Time

It’s been exactly a week since I ended my last column here pondering the imminent formation of Hurricane Iota. Over the ensuing seven days, the storm not only coalesced, but intensified to become the most powerful hurricane of this record-setting Atlantic season.

Iota made landfall Monday night in Central America, coming ashore in Nicaragua with sustained winds of 155 mph. Earlier that morning, the storm briefly reached category 5 status with winds of 160 mph, the first storm of a very busy 2020 to cross that threshold.

As my fellow Forbes contributor Marshall Shepherd points out, the difference between a category 4 and 5 storm on the ground is not so perceptible. It is all destruction and suffering in either case…

Monstrous Hurricane Iota leaves scenes of disaster

Near the end of a record-breaking storm season, two powerful hurricanes, both named with Greek letters, slammed into nearly the same spot in Nicaragua. Hurricane Eta struck on Nov. 3, and Iota followed on Nov. 16. They made landfall just 15 miles apart.

The incoming scenes from the more recent cyclone, Iota, depict a submerged airport, stranded people, and ravaged homes in Nicaragua, Honduras, and beyond.

The vigorous 2020 Atlantic storm season broke the record for named storms, with 30 as of Nov. 19. (The previous record in the well-observed satellite era, since 1966, was 28 named storms.) Tropical storms, which are organized cyclones with wind speeds of at least 39 mph, earn names, and some intensify into hurricanes. For just the second time ever, 2020 exhausted the 21 pre-chosen storm names, so weather agencies defaulted to Greek letters…

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