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Tropical Storm Earl Forms in Caribbean

August 2, 2016

Hurricane Hunters flew into Invest 97 Tuesday morning and found a closed low-level center of circulation and wind gusts up to 54 mph. For this reason, the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Earl. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for Belize, parts of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. As of 12 pm Tuesday, Earl was located 210 miles southwest of Jamaica.  Earl had maximum sustained winds up to 45 mph, and was moving west at 22 mph.

 

 

Earl will most likely continue on its fast track westward toward Central America, with landfall possible near Belize City late Wednesday or Thursday. If the system then survives its track over land, Earl would emerge over the Bay of Campeche by Friday.  It is also possible the storm could strengthen again before making a second landfall over eastern Mexico or southern Texas.  Confidence is high that the storm will not significantly impact the United States or the State of Florida.

Forecast data is not as conclusive on how strong Earl might become before landfall. Interactions with nearby land could inhibit development, whereas a track a little more over the very warm waters of the Caribbean could allow for further strengthening. Regardless of Earl’s track, the biggest threat is likely to be flooding from heavy rain and minor damage from tropical storm force winds.

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Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
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