Tropical Cyclone Earl is now over northern Guatemala…located about 115 miles west of Belize City
Tropical Storm Earl continues to rapidly weaken as it tracks over land
Hurricane Earl was the first hurricane in the Caribbean Sea since Hurricane Sandy of 2012, which made landfall near Belize City, Belize as a Category 1 storm, with 80 mph winds. Earl was the strongest hurricane to hit Belize since Hurricane Richard on October 23, 2010…which made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds.
Tropical Storm Earl is moving toward the west at near 12 mph.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), TS Earl is already well inland over northern Guatemala, and although visible satellite images still show a vigorous circulation, the convection is rapidly decreasing. There are no wind observations near the center, but the best estimate of the initial intensity is 52 mph.
Since most of the circulation of Earl is forecast to move over the high terrain of Guatemala and southeastern Mexico, rapid weakening is anticipated. Earl is expected to degenerate into a tropical depression tonight and into a remnant low in a day or so.
Earl has been moving south of due west or 265 degrees at 12 mph. The storm is trapped south of a ridge, and given that the steering flow is not expected to change, a continued westward track is anticipated for the next day or two. This forecast motion over land reduces the chances of reintensification in the extreme southern portion of the Bay of Campeche.
Despite the current weakening, Earl is capable of producing very heavy rains over a large portion of Central America and southeastern Mexico. In addition, global models continue to show a much larger-scale cyclonic gyre over southern Mexico during the next few days. This weather pattern will likely lead to torrential rains, with isolated precipitation totals of 18 inches possible.
There is also some concern in the Eastern Pacific, loosely associated with Earl…which is the possible arrival of the remnants of Earl early next week. Earl will cease to exist as a named storm during its long traverse across Mexico during the coming weekend, but if Earl’s remnants manage to cross over Mexico and arrive over the warm waters off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico, with some spin still intact…regeneration into a tropical storm is possible.
If Earl’s circulation has become unidentifiable by the time it crosses into the Pacific…the new storm would be named Javier. This NHC image shows about where this might happen within 5-days, giving it a medium chance of developing within 5-days.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Tropical storm conditions within a small area near the center should spread westward over northern Guatemala and southeastern Mexico today.
RAINFALL: Earl is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches over portions of Belize, Guatemala, and the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Veracruz through Friday morning. Isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches are possible in Belize, northern Guatemala and the central part of the Mexican state of Chiapas. These rains could result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Meanwhile, there are no other tropical cyclones, or areas under investigation in the Atlantic at this time, and none of the models are predicting development of a TC through the next 5-days.
There are no active tropical cyclones
Gulf of Mexico
Tropical Cyclone Earl