Tropical storm Earl forms Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

There’s a storm named Earl churning in the Atlantic.

The tropical storm became the fifth named storm of 2016 as it continued to gain strength on Tuesday night.

As of 7 p.m. CDT, Tropical Storm Earl was located about 395 miles east of Belize City, according to the National Hurricane Center, and was moving west at 16 mph.

Earl’s winds continued to rise and were at 60 mph on Tuesday evening. The hurricane center said that Earl could strengthen further and could be near hurricane strength as it neared the coasts of Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hurricane force winds begin at 74 mph.

Watches and warnings continued along the coasts.

Mexico and Belize issued a tropical storm warning. Honduras also issued a tropical storm warning for its entire north coast.

A hurricane watch was issued for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Allen, Mexico, southward to the Belize-Guatemala border.

The center of the storm was expected to move just north of the Honduras Bay Islands on Wednesday afternoon and then be very near the Belize coast early Thursday.

The forecast track from the hurricane center takes the storm across the Yucatan Peninsula and into the southern Gulf of Mexico, keeping it far from the northern Gulf Coast.