NOAA: Tropical Storm Iota Track, Spaghetti Models

MIAMI, Florida – NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Public Advisory at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Saturday, November 14, 2020, due to the presence of Tropical Storm Iota (formerly Invest 98L and Tropical Depression Thirty-one) over the central Caribbean.

Tropical Storm Iota Projected Path

Tropical Storm Iota is located about 375 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica, and is moving to the west-southwest at 5 mph (7 km/h).

NHC forecasters say that a westward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected to begin later today and continue through Monday.

On the official NHC forecast track, Iota will move across the central Caribbean Sea during the next day or so, and approach the coasts of Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras on Monday.

Tropical Storm Iota Computer Models

Tropical Depression Thirty-one Computer Models, Spaghetti Models
Tropical Depression Thirty-one Computer Models, Spaghetti Models

Computer models are in good agreement through the first couple of days, but there is increasing cross-track spread after that time.

The HMON, HWRF, and GFS American model (purple square) show a track near or north of the coast of Honduras after 48 hours, while the ECMWF European model (orange triangle) and UKMET are farther south.

The new NHC track forecast has been adjusted southward, especially in the first 24 to 36 hours due to the more southward initial position.

The NHC track lies close to the TVCA multi-model consensus, which is between the lastest global model interpolated trackers and the model fields.

Tropical Storm Iota Category Strength

Tropical Depression Thirty-one NOAA NHC Wind Arrival Time
Tropical Depression Thirty-one NOAA NHC Wind Arrival Time

Preliminary data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Tropical Storm Iota has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 km/h), with higher gusts.

Steady to rapid strengthening is likely to begin tonight or Sunday, and Iota is forecast to be at or near major hurricane strength when it approaches Central America.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) to the northeast of the center of the tropical cyclone.

NOAA historical hurricane data. Peak season and storm frequency.

September 10 was the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season where tropical cyclone activity significantly increases. But hurricane season can still remain at an increased level of activity through the first half of November, according to NOAA and the National Weather Service’s historical data.

NOAA and Colorado State University forecast an “extremely active” 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs from June 1 through November 30.