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Iota weakens into tropical depression

Iota made landfall Monday night in Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane.
Credit: 10 Weather

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Iota made landfall Monday night along the coast of northeastern Nicaragua near the town of Haulover as a 155-mph, Category 4 hurricane.

That's about 15 miles south of where Category 4 Hurricane Eta made landfall on Nov. 3. This is a challenging time for a region that is already struggling to recover from the hurricane two weeks ago.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

As of the National Hurricane Center's latest update, Iota has weakened to a tropical depression and is rapidly weakening as it makes its way inland across Nicaragua. Maximum sustained winds are around 35 mph. The NHC says Iota is forecast to dissipate over Central America by Wednesday night.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

Since Iota made landfall near the same areas where Eta's torrential rains struck just about two weeks ago, the soil is already saturated, leaving it prone to new landslides and floods. 

The record-setting 2020 hurricane season waited until November to produce its strongest storm of the year, when on Monday morning, Iota intensified to a Category 5 hurricane. 

Hurricane Iota is now the strongest hurricane on record this late in the hurricane season. The old record was the Cuba Hurricane which occurred on Nov. 8, 1932. Iota and the Cuba Hurricane are the only Category 5 hurricanes to ever occur in November -- so it's extremely rare.

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