Video: Latest coverage from the Caribbean
At 8 p.m. ET, the center of Hurricane Dean was located about 210 miles east of Chetumal, Mexico. It is moving toward the west at about 20 mph. Dean is expected to continue on a westward track toward the coast and make landfall by morning. Maximum sustained winds have been moved up to 160 mph making Dean a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
The Cayman Islands avoided a direct hit. Earlier on Monday, the center of Dean passed about 125 miles to the south of Grand Cayman. Heavy rain, high winds, dangerous surf, and storm surge have all impacted the Caymans.
Weather conditions are now beginning to deteriorate over the eastern Yucatan peninsula and northern Belize. The center of Hurricane Dean is expected to make landfall north of the border between Belize and the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and south of Tulum. It is here where a water rise of 8 to 15 feet can be expected with monstrous waves of 25 to 30 feet.
The resorts of Cancun and Cozumel will not feel the full brunt of Hurricane Dean but waves on the order of 18 to 24 feet are expected to crash along the shores resulting in severe beach erosion. Squalls of tropical storm-force winds and heavy rains will rotate in across the resorts tonight and into the early morning hours.
Dean will then cross the Yucatan Peninsula and re-emerge into the Bay of Campeche, in a much weaker state, Tuesday night and make a final landfall somewhere along the mainland Mexican Coast sometime on Wednesday.
Various hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings are in place.
Remember that watches mean that conditions are possible within 36 hours; warnings mean that conditions are expected within 24 hours.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, a tropical wave is bringing disorganized showers a few hundred miles north of the Leeward Islands. There is some potential for slow development with this system as it moves to the west.