Hurricane Iota

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Hurricane Iota
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Iota 2020-11-16 1500Z.png
Hurricane Iota at peak intensity approaching Nicaragua on November 16
FormedNovember 13, 2020
DissipatedNovember 18, 2020
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:160 mph (260 km/h)
Lowest pressure917 mbar (hPa); 27.08 inHg
Fatalities61 total; 41 missing
Damage≥ $564 million (2020 USD)
Areas affected
Part of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

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. Iota caused severe damage to areas of Central America already devastated by Hurricane Eta just less than two weeks prior. The thirty-first tropical cyclone, thirtieth named storm, thirteenth hurricane, and sixth major hurricane of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Iota originated as a tropical wave that moved into the Eastern Caribbean on November 10. Over the next few days, the wave began to become better organized and by November 13, it developed into a tropical depression north of Colombia. The depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Iota six hours later. The storm was initially impacted by some wind shear, but a center relocation and relaxed shear allowed Iota to quickly strengthen into a hurricane on November 15, after which it underwent explosive intensification, becoming a Category 5 hurricane the following day. This made 2020 the fifth consecutive Atlantic hurricane season since 2016 to feature at least one Category 5 hurricane. After weakening slightly, Iota made landfall in northeastern Nicaragua as a high-end Category 4 hurricane, becoming the strongest recorded hurricane to make landfall in Nicaragua in November. Iota then rapidly weakened as it moved inland, before dissipating on November 18.


The precursor wave to Iota generated flash flooding in most of the Caribbean islands. Tropical cyclone watches and warnings were first issued on November 14 in parts of Colombia, Nicaragua, and Honduras, with the latter two countries still recovering from Eta just two weeks prior. Heavy rains associated with a tropical wave and Iota brought heavy rainfall to parts of Colombia, leading to flash flooding and mudslides. Extremely heavy rain fell on much of Nicaragua widening flash flooding caused by the hurricane's high storm surge. Mudslides caused extensive damage and multiple deaths. At least 61 people were killed due to Iota including at least 28 in Nicaragua and 16 in Honduras, among other countries. [1] [2] [3] [4] As many as 41 people are currently missing. Damage totals for the storm are still being calculated, but a preliminary estimate in Nicaragua places the damage totals at $564 million (2020 USD) in that country. [5]

Planning for relief efforts soon followed, which include placing tents, opening temporary hospitals, and delivering food and water to those in need. Numerous power outages were restored in the days following Iota's destruction. Downed trees and blocked paths have slowed down some rescue teams. Donations worth hundreds of millions of USD have been given to affected countries. An estimated total of 5.2 million people were affected by the storm, [6] while hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced.

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale Iota 2020 track.png
Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

At 18:00 UTC on November 8, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) began to monitor the Central Caribbean for a tropical wave forecasted to enter the area and potentially become a low-pressure area within a few days. [7] The wave subsequently entered the Eastern Caribbean by 06:00 UTC on November 10 and moved westward into a more conducive environment for development. [8] [9] Late on November 11, the wave started to become better organized, and by 15:00 UTC on November 13, it had developed into Tropical Depression Thirty-One in the southern Caribbean, tying 2005 for the most tropical depressions recorded in one season. [9] [10] [11] Six hours later, the system strengthened into Tropical Storm Iota. [12] After struggling somewhat due to wind shear and dry air, Iota began to rapidly intensify over warm waters late on November 14, as convection started to wrap around the storm's center. [13] At 06:00 UTC on November 15, Iota reached hurricane status, before strengthening to Category 2 status at 00:00 UTC on November 16. [14] [15]

Hurricane Iota making landfall on northeastern Nicaragua on November 17 Hurricane Iota at landfall over northeastern Nicaragua.gif
Hurricane Iota making landfall on northeastern Nicaragua on November 17

By 06:00 UTC on November 16, hurricane hunters discovered that Iota had become a high-end Category 3 major hurricane, marking the first time that there were two major hurricanes recorded in November. [16] They also found intense lightning in Iota's southwest eyewall along with hail, which is extremely rare for a hurricane, given the warm temperatures that are present in those storms. [17] [18] [19] Just 40 minutes later, at 06:40 UTC, Iota reached Category 4 intensity. [20] At 15:00 UTC, Iota intensified further into the season's first Category 5 hurricane and simultaneously reached its peak intensity with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 917 mb (27.08 inHg). [21] This marked the latest recorded date of a storm becoming a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin. [22] Iota is also the second November Category 5 Atlantic hurricane on record. After peaking in intensity, Iota's pressure fluctuated somewhat before it weakened slightly to a high-end Category 4 hurricane, at 03:00 UTC on November 17, as the storm began to interact with land. [23] At 03:40 UTC, Iota made landfall along the northeastern coast of Nicaragua, near the town of Haulover, with sustained winds of 155 mph (250 km/h) and a central pressure of 920 mb (27.17 inHg). Iota's landfall location was approximately 15 miles (25 km) south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall on November 3. [24] This also made Iota the strongest hurricane in recorded history to make landfall in Nicaragua within November. [25]

Iota then rapidly weakened as it moved over the mountainous terrain of Central America, falling below major hurricane status at 09:00 UTC on November 17, and below hurricane status at 18:00 UTC. [26] [27] The inner core of the weakening system was disrupted as it moved through Honduras, and Iota weakened to a tropical depression on November 18 at 09:00 UTC, as it entered El Salvador. [28] [29] Six hours after this downgrade, Iota's low-level circulation center dissipated and the NHC issued their final advisory on Iota. [30]


Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthening prior to peak intensity. Satellite Loop of Hurricane Iota 11-16-2020.gif
Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthening prior to peak intensity.

Tropical storm warnings were first issued for the Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia around midday on November 14. [31] Three hours later, a hurricane watch was issued for Providencia, as well as along the coast of Northern Nicaragua and Eastern Honduras, with a tropical storm watch also issued for Central Honduras. [13] All of the watches were eventually upgraded to warnings, with an additional hurricane watch for San Andrés as well as a tropical storm warning for south central Nicaragua. [32] [33] The rest of the coastline of Honduras, as well as the Bay Islands, were later put under tropical storm warnings on November 16. [21]

Oxfam had to temporarily suspend operations across Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador related to Hurricane Eta to protect relief works. [34]


With Nicaragua still reeling from Hurricane Eta two weeks prior, many areas remained flooded. Towns around Puerto Cabezas in particular were devastated by Eta and debris remained strewn across the area. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies emphasized the risk of widespread flooding and landslides as soils were completely saturated. [35] The Government of Nicaragua opened 600 shelters and 63,000 people evacuated nationwide. [36] Some residents feared starvation while residing in shelters as Eta largely destroyed the region's crops. [35] The government of Taiwan donated 800 tons of rice to the areas expected to be impacted by the storm. [37] [38]


Approximately 80,000 people were evacuated from flood-prone areas. [35] An estimated 100,000 people remained isolated across Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta as Iota made landfall. [39]

El Salvador

The Government of El Salvador opened 1,000 shelters with a capacity for 30,000 people. By November 17, 700 people had relocated from their homes. [35]


Deaths and damage by territory
(2020 USD)
Colombia 710 [40] [41] [42] [43]
El Salvador 10 [1]
Honduras 161 [2]
Guatemala 60 [3] [44]
Nicaragua 2829$564 million [45] [46] [5]
Panama 31 [3]
Venezuela 00
Totals:6141$564 million


The precursor tropical wave to Iota produced heavy rain across Venezuela's Falcón state, primarily in the Paraguaná Peninsula. In the Silva municipality, flooding affected 288 homes. Damage to homes was reported in El Cayude and El Tranquero. The community of Santa Ana lost electrical service. Civil Protection officials advised residents of possible flooding along the Matícora reservoir in Mauroa, the Barrancas river, and the Quebrada de Uca river. [47] Some flooding occurred in the state of Miranda. [48]



Rain from Iota in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia Lluvias en Bogota por Iota.jpg
Rain from Iota in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia

Heavy rains associated with a tropical wave and Iota caused extensive damage in Colombia. [49] The worst damage took place in the Mohán sector of Dabeiba where landslides killed three people, injured 20, and left eight others missing. [50] [49] [43] Eight people were rescued from the rubble. [49] The landslides destroyed 67 homes and damaged 104 others as well as three schools. A total of 497 people were affected in the community. [43] Approximately 100 vehicles were trapped by rockfalls along a road between Dabeiba and Urabá. Flooding affected 10 municipalities within the Chocó Department; the town of Lloró was isolated after the only bridge to the community collapsed. A landslide in Carmen de Atrato killed one person when his home was buried. [50] Across Chocó, an estimated 28,000 people were affected. [43] A van with two occupants disappeared when a landslide dragged the vehicle into the Atrato River. Emergencies were declared for 29 municipalities in the Santander Department where multiple rivers topped their banks. Several families were evacuated from Cimitarra due to rising water along the Carare River. A bridge collapse along the Chicamocha River isolated approximately 1,000 people in Carcasí and Enciso. More than 1,000 homes were damaged in the Atlántico Department: 693 in Malambo, 200 in Candelaria, and 150 in Carreto. [50]

An estimated 70 percent of Cartagena saw flooding due to the direct effects of Iota, [51] affecting an estimated 155,000 people. [52] Numerous homes were damaged or destroyed by floods and landslides. [43] Two people died in the San Pedro neighborhood when the motorcycle they were riding was swept into a canal. [42] City officials converted the Coliseo de Combate into a shelter capable of accommodating 200 people. [53]

Providencia and San Andrés

On November 15–16, Iota passed close to the outlying Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina as a Category 5 hurricane. [40] [54] The center of the hurricane's eye missed Providencia by 11 miles (18 km), but the storm still made a direct hit (rather than a landfall) on the island, causing damage described as "unprecedented" by President Iván Duque Márquez. [55] [41] This marked the first time a Category 5 hurricane struck the country directly. [40] Communication was lost with the island on November 16, lasting for over 20 hours. [54] [56] An estimated 98–99 percent of structures on the island were damaged or destroyed, [57] [41] [58] [59] including buildings constructed in the 15th century. [60] Every home on the island suffered damage, with 80 percent being destroyed. [40] One person was killed and six were injured on the island. [61] Two shelters were known to have lost their roof before communication was lost. [54] The situation on the island was difficult to ascertain as of November 17, though the island's hospital was assumed destroyed or rendered inoperable. [41] Although debris covered runways at El Embrujo Airport, initially preventing aircraft from arriving or leaving, [41] by November 17 it was operational enough to allow President Duque to visit and assess the damage of the island. [62]

On San Andrés, torrential rains and large swells caused extensive flooding. Seawater rose up to 9.8 ft (3 m). Powerful winds uprooted numerous trees, some of which fell on homes, and several homes lost their roof. [54] [63] Communications with San Andrés were temporarily lost during the storm and approximately 60 percent of the island lost power. Flooding reached a depth of 6 in (15 cm) at the Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport, preventing usage of the runways. [63] One person was killed on the island. [60]

Central America


Nearly 44,000 homes suffered total or partial damage in Nicaragua, said Nicaraguan Finance Minister Ivan Acosta, estimating the storms have cost the country $743 million in losses, according to government media site El 19 [64]

Category 4 Iota just prior to landfall south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua Iota 2020-11-17 0010Z.jpg
Category 4 Iota just prior to landfall south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua

Iota made landfall in Nicaragua as a high-end Category 4 hurricane near the town of Haulover, just south of Puerto Cabezas, on November 16, only 15 miles (25 km) south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall 13 days prior. [24] As Iota was moving ashore, Puerto Cabezas airport reported sustained winds of 72 knots (85 mph; 135 km/h) with gusts to 98 knots (115 mph; 180 km/h) at 02:53 UTC on November 17. Damage reports, however, were extremely limited due to damage the area sustained previously from Hurricane Eta. These reports were also limited due to most communications to Puerto Cabezas being knocked out during the storm. [65] An amateur radio from Club de Radio-Experimentadores de Nicaragua (CREN) reported winds of 124 mph (200 km/h) winds and damaged roofs, although it was unclear whether these were sustained winds or wind gusts. [26] The roof was torn off of a makeshift hospital that was serving as a replacement to an older hospital, requiring an evacuation of the patients there. [66]

A total of 160,233 homes lost power in Nicaragua and 47,638 families lost water service. The Instituto Nicaragüense de Telecomunicaciones y Correos|es reported loss of telephone service to 35 communities. [67]

Torrential rains on already saturated soils led to extensive flooding and landslides. At least 28 people died in relation to the hurricane while 29 others are missing. [4] Two children were swept away by a river in Santa Teresa, Carazo, while three other members of their family went missing; a sixth family member was rescued. A landslide killed two people in Wiwilí de Jinotega and another person died in Quilalí. In Wiwilí, fears arose over the safety of residents who evacuated into the mountains to escape flooding as numerous landslides occurred in the region. [36] On November 17, at least 30 people were buried in a landslide in Macizo de Penas Blancas, and a boy was found buried. The next day, four more bodies were recovered, including one of a baby. [68] On November 23 a passenger truck plunged off a road in a mountainous area that had been devastated by Iota, the accident cause the deaths of 17 people and 25 injuries. [69] A preliminary damage estimate places the damages at 12.3 billion córdobas ($352.5 million USD). [5]


Together Eta and Iota have killed around 100 Hondurans and local analysts estimate the damage will cost the country more than 10 billion dollars (L244.1 billion). [70]

Iota produced heavy rainfall over portions of Honduras, causing a river to overflow in Tocoa. Mudslides and downed trees were also reported in portions of the country. [71] La Ceiba, Honduras reported a wind gust of 58 mph (93 km/h). [72] At least 16 people have died and one other is missing as a result of impacts from Iota in Honduras. [2] Landslides were the primary cause of fatalities; one in San Manuel Colohete killed eight people and another in Los Trapiches killed five people. [2] Teonela Paisano Wood, the mayor of Brus Laguna, stated concerns that continued rainfall pose a large threat to the town. Various concrete and wooden houses were reduced to rubble. [73] As of the morning of November 18, COPECO reported 366,123 people were directly affected by the hurricane. [2] 80% of Copán Ruinas' roads were rendered impassible due to mudslides and flash flooding. The Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport is expected to be remained closed until mid-December. The passenger terminal experienced severe damages, and estimated repair times are more than a month. [74]


Officials in Panama said one person was killed in Nole Duima in the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca. Another person was missing in Soloy, also in the region. [66]


The states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and Veracruz all experienced effects from Iota's rainfall. Cumulative total across the three states were nearly 297,000 affected people, as well as almost 59,000 homes being damaged. Blocked roads cut off access to 135 communities. [6]


Spreading of disease, ranging from colds and skin rashes to gastrointestinal problems has become much more common. Other infection rates of illnesses such as Dengue fever and COVID are increasing as well. Some are refusing to be tested for COVID due to fears of being refused shelter due to infection. People in need of medications have not been able to get them. [75]


Following restoration of communication with Providencia on November 16, President Duque pledged immediate aid to the island. [41] A state of emergency was declared for a year. [61] Rough seas on November 17 prevented the Colombian Navy from reaching the island, though Duque was able to fly by helicopter for an aerial survey. Two field hospitals and 4,000 tents were to be set up on the island. [41] Emphasis was placed on evacuating critical injuries to the mainland before establishing the field hospitals. [35] By November 19, 112 people were airlifted from the island. [61] The Colombian military deployed engineers and 15 tons of food. Duque stated that a plan for the complete reconstruction of Providencia's infrastructure was to be drawn up within 100 days and that all of the destroyed housing would be rebuilt by 2022. [35] Duque pledged 150 billion pesos (US$41 million) for infrastructure repair. [61] The relative lack of casualties in Providencia is attributed to residents adhering to warnings and seeking refuge in sturdy structures or interior bathrooms. [60]

Opposition to Duque criticized him for not evacuating Providencia ahead of the storm. [35]

On November 18, the Government of Colombia pledged 500 billion pesos (US$136 million) for recovery efforts in Bolívar and Cartagena. [76]


Nicaragua's power company, Enatrel, dispatched more than 100 crews to the Caribbean Coast to restore electricity. By November 17, nearly half of the outages were restored. [67]

Operation USA began preparations for relief efforts on November 17. [77] Nicaragua's army had sent 100 rescuers to a site where a landslide caused damage. Downed trees blocking the road hampered the effort. [78] About 1,000 food kits will be delivered, as well as recreational activities for sheltered children. The food kits will be available until the government is able to provide adequate food support. 1,000 hygiene kits, which include laundry soap, hand and dish soap, bleach, and toilet paper will be given. Families will also receive purified water, face masks, blankets, buckets, plastic sheets, eggs and beef (the last two for preferred protein sources). [79]


As of November 25, 2.5 million people had limited or no access to health services due to impacts. Officials have reported that more than 4 million people have been affected by Eta and Iota. Project HOPE has given shipments of Personal protective equipment, 50,000 masks, as well as items for the WASH project. 185,000 people have been displaced. 10 health facilities have reported a complete loss of cold-chain equipment, which hampered preparations made for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. [80]


Immediate support for 1,000 people will be given. Money will be used to purchase food, hygiene kits, and COVID-19 protection for families.

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Hurricane Nana was a minimal Category 1 hurricane that caused moderate damage across the countries of Belize and Guatemala in early September 2020. The sixteenth tropical cyclone, fourteenth named storm, and the fifth hurricane of the very active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Nana originated from a tropical wave near the Lesser Antilles. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) began tracking the wave on August 27, giving it a low chance of formation. Contrary to predictions, the wave rapidly organized, though data failed to locate a closed circulation, and the system was not designated a tropical cyclone. However, the system continued organizing, and data from a hurricane hunter aircraft recorded tropical storm force winds along with a closed circulation; the NHC subsequently named the system Tropical Storm Nana on September 1. Nana rapidly intensified that day, though wind shear increased early the next day, preventing the storm from intensifying further. However, early on September 3, reconnaissance aircraft found that Nana had strengthened into a hurricane just before making landfall in Southern Belize. After landfall, it began to rapidly weaken. Early on September 4, its low-level center dissipated and it degenerated into a mid-level remnant low. The remnants moved into the Eastern Pacific, where they reformed into Tropical Storm Julio.

Hurricane Sally Category 2 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Sally was a destructive Atlantic hurricane which became the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Alabama since Ivan in 2004, coincidentally on the same date. The eighteenth named storm, and seventh hurricane of the extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Sally formed out of an area of disturbed weather which was first monitored over the Bahamas on September 10. The system grew a broad area of low-pressure on September 11, and was designated as a tropical depression late that day. Early the next day, the depression made landfall at Key Biscayne, and subsequently strengthened into Tropical Storm Sally that afternoon. Moderate northwesterly shear prevented significant intensification for the first two days, but convection continued to grow towards the center and Sally slowly intensified. On September 14, a center reformation into the center of the convection occurred, and data from a hurricane hunter reconnaissance aircraft showed that Sally rapidly intensified into a strong Category 1 hurricane. It further intensified into a Category 2 hurricane that evening. However, an increase in wind shear and upwelling of colder waters weakened Sally slightly back down to Category 1 on September 15. Despite this increase in wind shear, it unexpectedly re-intensified, reaching Category 2 status again early on September 16 before making landfall at peak intensity at 09:45 UTC on September 16 near Gulf Shores, Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 km/h). The storm rapidly weakened after landfall, becoming a remnant low early the next day.

Hurricane Teddy Category 4 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Teddy was a large and powerful Cape Verde hurricane that was the fourth-largest Atlantic hurricane by diameter of gale-force winds recorded and produced large swells along the coast of the Eastern United States and Atlantic Canada in September 2020. The twentieth tropical depression, nineteenth named storm, eighth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Teddy initially formed from a tropical depression that developed from a tropical wave on September 12. Initially, the depression's large size and moderate wind shear kept it from organizing, but it eventually intensified into Tropical Storm Teddy on September 14. After steadily intensifying for about a day, the storm rapidly became a Category 2 hurricane on September 16 before moderate wind shear caused the storm to fluctuate in intensity. It then rapidly intensified again on September 17 and became a Category 4 hurricane. Internal fluctuations and eyewall replacement cycles then caused the storm to fluctuate in intensity before it weakened some as it approached Bermuda. After passing east of the island as a Category 1 hurricane on September 21, Teddy restrengthened back to Category 2 strength due to baroclinic forcing. It weakened back down to Category 1 hurricane the next day before becoming a post-tropical as it approached Atlantic Canada early on September 23. It then weakened to a gale-force low and made landfall in Nova Scotia with winds of 65 mph. It executed a large loop as it accelerated first northward then eastward north of Newfoundland, briefly strengthening back to a storm-force low before weakening again and losing its identity on September 27.

Hurricanes in Nicaragua

Nicaragua, officially the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Tropical cyclones are common in the country, with an average of one storm a year. The coast is especially subject to destructive tropical storms and hurricanes, particularly from July through October. The high winds and floods, accompanying these storms often cause considerable destruction of property. Hurricanes or heavy rains in the central highlands where agriculture has destroyed much of the natural vegetation also cause considerable crop damage and soil erosion. One of the deadliest hurricanes to hit Nicaragua has been Hurricane Mitch in 1998, in which the storm killed thousands in the country.

Hurricane Delta Category 4 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Delta was the record-tying fourth named storm of 2020 to strike Louisiana, as well as the record-breaking tenth named storm to strike the United States in that year. The twenty-sixth tropical cyclone, twenty-fifth named storm, ninth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Delta formed from a tropical wave which was first monitored by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on October 1. Moving westward, the tropical wave began to quickly organize and due to its imminent threat to land, it was designated a potential tropical cyclone late on October 4. The next day, the system sufficiently organized and was designated as Tropical Depression Twenty-six and soon thereafter, Tropical Storm Delta. Extremely rapid intensification ensued throughout October 5 into October 6, with Delta becoming a Category 4 hurricane within 28 hours of attaining tropical storm status. The rate of intensification was the fastest in the Atlantic basin since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. After peaking in intensity however, an unexpected slight increase in wind shear greatly disrupted the small core of Delta and the storm quickly weakened before making landfall in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, as a high-end Category 2 hurricane with 110 miles per hour. It weakened some more over land before emerging into the Gulf of Mexico, where it was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. After that, it began to restrengthen, regaining Category 3 status late on October 8. It then turned northward and reached a secondary peak intensity of 953 mb and winds of 120 mph early on October 9. Delta then began to turn more north-northeastward into an area of cooler waters, higher wind shear, and dry air, causing it to weaken back to Category 2 status. Delta then made landfall at 23:00 UTC near Creole, Louisiana with winds of 100 mph (155 km/h) and a pressure of 970 mb (28.64 inHg). The storm began to weaken more rapidly after landfall, becoming post-tropical just 22 hours later.

Hurricane Zeta Category 2 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Zeta was the record-tying sixth hurricane to make landfall in the United States and the record fifth named storm to strike Louisiana in 2020. The system was also the first tropical cyclone since Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to produce accumulating snow and one of only four tropical cyclones since 1804 to do so. The twenty-seventh named storm and eleventh hurricane of the exceptionally active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Zeta formed from a broad area of low pressure that formed in the western Caribbean Sea on October 19. After battling wind shear, the quasi-stationary low organized into Tropical Depression Twenty-Eight on October 24. The system strengthened into Tropical Storm Zeta early on October 25 before becoming a hurricane the next day as it began to move northwestward. Hurricane Zeta made landfall in the Yucatán Peninsula late on October 26 and weakened while inland to a tropical storm, before moving off the northern coast of the peninsula on October 27. After weakening due to dry air, Zeta reorganized and became a hurricane again, and eventually a Category 2 hurricane, as it turned northeastward approaching the U.S. Gulf Coast on October 28. It continued to strengthen until it reached its peak intensity of 110 mph (175 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 970 mbar (28.64 inHg) as it made landfall in Cocodrie, Louisiana, that evening. Zeta gradually weakened as it accelerated northeastward, and became post-tropical on October 29, as it moved through central Virginia. After bringing accumulating snow to parts of New England, Zeta accelerated across the north Atlantic, re-intensifying into a hurricane-force extratropical cyclone as it impacted the United Kingdom on November 1 and 2.

Hurricane Eta Category 4 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Eta was a devastating Category 4 hurricane that wreaked havoc across parts of Central America in early November 2020. The record-tying twenty-eighth named storm, twelfth hurricane and fifth major hurricane of the extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Eta originated from a vigorous tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean Sea on October 31. The system rapidly organized as it progressed west, with the cyclone ultimately becoming a Category 4 hurricane on November 3. With a peak intensity of 150 mph (240 km/h) and 923 mbar, it was the third most intense November Atlantic hurricane on record behind the 1932 Cuba hurricane and Hurricane Iota just two weeks later. Some weakening took place as the system made landfall near Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, late that same day. Eta rapidly weakened to a tropical depression as it meandered across Central America for two days before moving north over water. It later reorganized over the Caribbean as it accelerated toward Cuba on November 7. Over the next five days, the system moved erratically, moving through the Florida Keys and stalling in the southern Gulf of Mexico, its intensity fluctuating along the way. After briefly regaining hurricane strength it weakened once more and accelerated across the Southeastern United States on November 12. It soon became extratropical and dissipated off the Eastern United States the next day.


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