Hurricane Eta is due to come ashore in Nicaragua Tuesday as an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane, bringing life-threatening storm surges, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and landslides to central America.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of about 230 kilometers per hour, and was moving to the west-southwest at about six kilometers per hour.
The forecasters predict the storm will produce a storm surge that will raise water levels along the coastline from four to more than six meters, and rainfall throughout central America of 25 to 51 centimeters, with isolated areas receiving more than 63 centimeters. They say flash flooding and landslides in elevated areas are likely.
The storm is expected to move slowly through the region over the course of the next several days. Forecasters are watching the potential for Eta to reemerge over the Gulf of Mexico late in the week, becoming a danger once again to areas farther north, though the Hurricane Center stated there is considerable uncertainty regarding that outcome.
Eta is the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, tying the record for the busiest hurricane season ever observed in the North Atlantic Ocean Basin and doing so at a breakneck pace.
In 2005, it took until the end of December to arrive at 28 named storms, putting this year two months ahead.