Earl is now a Category 1 Hurricane, with 75MPH winds.
Earl has become a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h).
"A landfall in Belize as a hurricane will occur late Wednesday night," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Property damage, downed trees and beach erosion will occur. Residents and visitors should be prepared for travel disruptions and power outages.
"Beyond Wednesday night, the greatest danger from Earl will be from torrential rainfall, which can top 12 inches (300 mm) in some areas," Kottlowski said.
Rainfall of this intensity can lead to catastrophic flooding and mudslides. The worst conditions are expected over mountainous terrain.
In addition to flash flooding, major river flooding can occur along with road washouts and closures.
The heavy rainfall will be released as Earl weakens while moving over land during Thursday and early Friday.
There is a chance Earl will trek over water once again. Should Earl drift over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico later Friday, the system could strengthen, prior to making another landfall.
5 pm EDT/4 pm CDT Statistics:
Location: 17.1 North Latitude, 86.0 West Longitude or about 150 miles to the east of Belize City.
Maximum Winds: 75 mph.
Minimum Central Pressure: 988 Millibars or 29.18 Inches.
Forward Movement: West at a forward speed of 14 mph.
Earl has become the second hurricane of the season with winds of 75 mph (Alex way back in January was the first). In addition, Earl is the first hurricane in the western Caribbean since Sandy in 2012. It is expected that Earl will make landfall as a 80 to 90 mph hurricane very near Belize City late tonight. After making landfall in Belize tonight, it is expected that a large upper level high pressure system over the southern United States will steer Earl on a west to west-northwest path across northern Guatemala and southern Mexico on Thursday and possibly moving temporarily into the extreme southern Bay of Campeche on Friday before finally moving inland into southern Mexico on Saturday.
Forecast Impacts Across Belize, The Southern Yucatan Peninsula & Northern Honduras:
Winds: Tropical storm force winds are expected to spread inland across Belize and the southern Yucatan Peninsula this evening with hurricane conditions expected to develop across Belize and the southern Yucatan Peninsula late tonight and then continue through a good part of Thursday. Winds are expected to diminish to below tropical storm strength across Belize and the southern Yucatan Peninsula by Thursday evening.
Rainfall: The impacts from Earl are expected to be severe across Belize, Honduras and the Yucatan Peninsula as rainfall amounts of 12 to 16 inches and possibly more will cause flash flooding and mudslides across Belize from tonight through Thursday and Thursday night. Very heavy rain will reach the Mexican states of Tabasco and Veracruz between Thursday night and Saturday morning leading to flash flooding and mudslides.
Storm Surge: A storm surge of 4 to 6 feet above normal tide levels are expected along the immediate coast of Belize and the eastern Yucatan Peninsula tonight into Thursday morning. A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels are expected on the Bay Island of Honduras tonight into Thursday morning.
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