Hurricane Iota strengthens to Category 4
A fast-strengthening Hurricane Iota sweeping over the western Caribbean became a very dangerous Category 4 storm early Monday, taking aim at Central American countries still reeling from Hurricane Eta's devastating landfall that killed more than 120 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless less than two weeks ago.
Forecasters said Iota continued to show signs of strengthening and could be a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane by the time it reaches Central America.
Evacuations were being conducted from low-lying areas in Nicaragua and Honduras near their shared border, which appeared to be Iota’s likely landfall. Winds and rain were already being felt on the Nicaraguan coast Sunday night.
The hurricane center said Iota had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph. It was centered about 170 miles southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua-Honduras border and moving westward at 10 mph.
Here in the Cayman Islands fresh northeasterly winds and rough seas will continue across the Cayman area as Hurricane Iota continues to strengthen and is expected to make landfall over Nicaragua this evening. Isolated showers are expected over the next few days as the outer bands of hurricane Iota moves over the northwest Caribbean. Radar images show isolated showers in and around the Cayman area, which are moving towards the southwest.
Skies will be partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers and thunder.
Winds will be East to Northeasterly at 15 to 20 knots at daytime, 15 to 20 knots and seas will be rough with wave heights of 7 to 9 feet 2 to 4 feet southeasterly swells .
A Marine Warning is in effect.