EYEWITNESS WEATHER (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Hurricane Iota strengthened dramatically over a 36 hour time span.
The 30th named storm in 2020, which is the most named storms ever in a given year, is also the most intense.
As of the 10 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Iota strengthened to a category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with sustained winds over 157 mph.
Hurricane Iota is also the first category 5 storm of the year, the highest ranking on the scale.
The hurricane is expected to remain a category 5 hurricane while approaching the northern Nicaragua coast Monday night.
Extreme winds and life-threatening storm surges are expected along the coast with major flooding and mudslides across Nicaragua and Honduras.
Hurricane Eta took a very similar path with landfall, as a category 4 hurricane in Nicaragua, just over two weeks ago.
Wind gusts up to 195 m.p.h. have been observed by NHC aircraft.