Aug 2, 2016

Tropical Storm EARL

 Reconnaissance aircraft reports indicate that the strong tropical disturbance moving rapidly west across the Caribbean Sea has developed a closed (low pressure) circulation. In addition strongest observed winds are 45 mph or tropical storm intensity thus the system is given the name EARL, the fifth named tropical cyclone of 2016 for the Atlantic Basin

EARL will make landfall on Belize late Wednesday night (3 Aug) or early morning of the 4th. It will weaken to below tropical storm intensity. By Friday it is forecast to move back over the warm waters across the Bay of Campeche, where some re-strengthening is possible before it makes a second landfall on Mexico's east coast.

In addition to strong tropical storm force winds (perhaps even localized hurricane force wind gusts), EARL will also produce storm surge flooding of 2 to 4 feet along the Belize coast at and to the north of where the center makes landfall.

EARL will also likely be a prolific rainmaker. An additional 2-4 inches of rain is expected across Jamaica. Total rainfall accumulations of 8-12 inches are forecast for Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula with some 16 inch amounts possible. These rains could result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.