Hurricane Earl Has Central America Clearly in Its Sights
The National Hurricane Center upgraded Earl to a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon as the rapidly intensifying storm approaches Central America.
Earl became the second hurricane in the 2016 Atlantic season, following Alex back in January. Maximum sustained winds as of the 5pm EDT advisory were at 75 miles-per-hour (MPH), making it a minimal Category 1 storm. At this time, Earl is not expected to impact the United States.
Strong winds, high surge and heavy rainfall are expected to be Earl’s primary impacts, especially for the small Central American nation of Belize, home to over 300,000 people. The Bay Islands north of Honduras were seeing strong winds and rain as of Wednesday evening.
Hurricane Warnings cover the entire Belize coastline, the Bay Islands and the extreme southern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Landfall is expected early Thursday morning, likely near Belize City, the highest population center in the small country.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on Earl
Photos: Images from Hurricane Hunter’s Earl mission the evening of Aug. 2, 2016. Photos by 1st Lt. Leesa Froelich, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron.