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Iota strengthens into 13th hurricane of the season

Storm projected to become major hurricane by Monday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Early Sunday morning, Iota strengthened into a hurricane in the Caribbean becoming the 13th hurricane of the extremely busy Atlantic hurricane season.

The record for most hurricanes in one season is 15, which was set in 2005 -- the only other season to have more than 12 hurricanes.

As of the 7 a.m. advisory, Iota is an 85 mph storm moving west at 6 mph. It is expected to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane Monday as it approaches Central America. The center of Iota is approximately 240 miles east of Isla De Providencia Columbia. The storm is expected to hit some of the same areas devastated by Hurricane Eta.

Eta hit Nicaragua last week as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least 120 people as torrential rain brought flash floods and landslides to parts of Central America and Mexico. Then it meandered across Cuba, the Florida Keys and around the Gulf of Mexico before slogging ashore again near Cedar Key and dashing across Florida and the Carolinas. Iota is not expected to turn north toward Florida like Eta did.

Iota is the 30th named storm of the record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Theta in the eastern Atlantic was downgraded to a depression and is expected to become a remnant low northwest of Africa.


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