MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Iota has strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane, and is expected to bring potentially catastrophic winds, life- threatening storm surge and extreme rainfall impacts to Central America.

At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Iota was 140 miles east of Isla De Providencia, Colombia.

Iota is moving toward the west near 9 mph.

A westward to west-northwestward motion is expected through landfall.  After landfall, a westward to west-southwestward motion is forecast.

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On the forecast track, the core of Iota will move across the southwestern Caribbean Sea today, pass near or over Providencia island late tonight or Monday, and approach the coasts of northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras within the hurricane warning area late Monday.

Maximum sustained are near 90 mph with higher gusts.

Rapid strengthening is expected during the next 24 hours, and Iota is forecast to be an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane when it approaches Central America.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Providencia
  • The coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras/Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi
  • The coast of northeastern Honduras from Punta Patuca to the Honduras/Nicaragua border

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • San Andres

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • San Andres
  • The coast of Nicaragua from south of Sandy Bay Sirpi to Bluefields
  • The northern coast of Honduras from west of Punta Patuca to Punta Castilla

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