Tropical Storm Earl to unleash high winds and heavy rain on Yucatan

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Tropical Storm Earl, a weather system that already has caused at least six deaths in the Dominican Republic, threatens to bring heavy rains, flooding and high winds to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Belize and Honduras, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tuesday Aug. 2.

All three of those countries issued Tropical Storm warnings for some areas, and a hurricane watch was issued for part of the coast of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state.

On Sunday, Earl was still a weaker tropical wave but knocked down power lines and started a fire that killed six passengers on a bus filled with people returning from a beach excursion in the Dominican Republic.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the storm was centered about 500 miles (825 kilometers) east of Belize City in the Caribbean. It had top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and was speeding west at 22 mph (35 kph).
Civil Protection authorities were mobilizing throughout the Yucatan Peninsula in advance of Earl’s expected arrival late Wednesday. In Merida, more than 40 public schools that serve as shelters were being readied for use by persons who may be displaced from their homes by the storm.
(IMAGE: nhc.noaa.gov)

(IMAGE: nhc.noaa.gov)



Here is the complete advisory posted at 2 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 2 
on the National Hurricane Center website:
 
SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...16.3N 80.8W
ABOUT 210 MI...340 KM S OF GRAND CAYMAN
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 22 MPH...35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1002 MB...29.59 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* PUNTA ALLEN, MEXICO, SOUTHWARD TO THE BELIZE/GUATEMALA BORDER
* CABO GRACIAS A DIOS WESTWARD TO THE HONDURAS/GUATEMALA BORDER
INCLUDING THE BAY ISLANDS

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM PUNTA ALLEN, MEXICO,
SOUTHWARD TO THE BELIZE/GUATEMALA BORDER

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE CAYMAN ISLANDS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE
WITHIN THE WATCH AREA.  A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS
BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE
WINDS, CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR
DANGEROUS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA, PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM EARL WAS 
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.3 NORTH, LONGITUDE 80.8 WEST. EARL IS 
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 22 MPH (35 KM/H), AND THIS MOTION
WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 
COUPLE OF DAYS.  ON THIS TRACK, THE CENTER OF EARL WILL BE MOVING
VERY CLOSE TO THE NORTH COAST OF HONDURAS LATE TONIGHT AND 
WEDNESDAY AND APPROACH BELIZE AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA LATE 
WEDNESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 50 MPH (85 KM/H) 
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST 
BEFORE EARL REACHES THE YUCATAN PENINSULA.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 80 MILES (130 KM)
FROM THE CENTER.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED FROM AN AIR FORCE PLANE WAS
1002 MB (29.59 INCHES).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND:  TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO FIRST REACH THE
COAST OF HONDURAS BY LATE TONIGHT, MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS
DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS, AND WILL REACH MEXICO AND BELIZE WITHIN THE
WARNING AREA BY WEDNESDAY NIGHT.  HURRICANE CONDITIONS COULD BEGIN
IN MEXICO AND BELIZE WITHIN THE HURRICANE WATCH AREA WEDNESDAY
NIGHT.

RAINFALL:  EARL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE AN ADDITIONAL 2 TO 4 INCHES
OF RAINFALL OVER JAMAICA. TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES
ARE EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF BELIZE, HONDURAS, GUATEMALA, AND THE
YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO, WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS
OF 16 INCHES IN MEXICO AND BELIZE. THESE RAINS COULD RESULT IN
LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

STORM SURGE:  A STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 2
TO 4 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST OF
BELIZE AND THE EASTERN YUCATAN PENINSULA TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE
CENTER MAKES LANDFALL. NEAR THE COAST, THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED
BY LARGE AND DAMAGING WAVES.
Sources:
ap.org; 
nhc.noaa.gov 

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