ORLANDO, Fla. - Hurricane Iota is rapidly strengthening, putting itself on track to gain Category 4 strength before landfall.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says that the Iota is moving west at 9 mph. It is expected to make landfall in Central America. It will specifically move near or over Providencia island on Monday and then Nicaragua and Honduras on Monday night.
Forecasters said that Iota is packing maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane. Rapid strengthening is occurring and Iota is forecasted to become an "extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane."
Iota will reportedly bring potentially catastrophic winds, a life-threatening storm surge and extreme rainfall to Central America.
ACTIVE WATCHES AND WARNINGS
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- The coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras/Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi
- The coast of northeastern Honduras from Punta Patuca to the Honduras/ Nicaragua border
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- San Andres
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- San Andres
- The coast of Nicaragua from south of Sandy Bay Sirpi to Bluefields
- The northern coast of Honduras from west of Punta Patuca to Punta Castilla
Iota is the 30th named storm of the season, breaking the record for the most named storms in a hurricane season.
Forecasters predicted that this season will have more activity than normal. For example, NOAA predicted an above-average season, with 13 to 19 named storms. Six to 10 of those would become hurricanes and three to six of those are forecasted to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).
In comparison, the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season had 18 named storms, matching 1969 for the fourth most-lively season in the past 150 years.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest in the tropics.