Hurricane Iota makes landfall in Nicaragua as Category 4 storm

By EMILY SHAPIRO and MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Iota made landfall in northern Nicaragua Monday night as a Category 4 storm, bringing life-threatening storm surge to the coast.

The dangerous hurricane was expected to spread catastrophic winds, flash flooding, and landslides across portions of Central America.

The storm came ashore with sustained winds near 155 mph, making landfall along the northeastern Nicaraguan coast near the town of Haulover, about 30 miles south of Puerto Cabezas.

The location was approximately 15 miles south of where Category 4 hurricane Eta made landfall just two weeks ago on Nov. 3.

Earlier Monday, Iota strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it approached the coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

Nicaragua and Honduras were expected to see storm surge of up to 20 feet.

Over the next few days, rainfall could reach 2 to 3 feet in parts of hard-hit Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala.

Mudslides and flash flooding are expected.

Iota, the strongest hurricane of 2020 to appear in the Atlantic Ocean, is the latest calendar-year Atlantic hurricane on record, surpassing the Cuba Hurricane on Nov. 8, 1932.

Meanwhile, the Northeast is forecast to see the coldest air of the season over the next few days.

The coldest morning is expected to be Wednesday, when it could feel like the upper teens in Boston, near 20 degrees in New York City and in the mid to upper 20s in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

With the cold air moving over the relatively mild Great Lakes, lake-effect snow is expected in western Pennsylvania and New York, parts of which could see half a foot of snow over the next 48 hours.

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