Hurricane Earl Makes Landfall Near Belize City; Inland Flash Flood Threat For Guatemala, Mexico
Hurricane Earl made landfall early Thursday morning near Belize City as a Category 1 hurricane with estimated maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Now, the main concern going forward will transition to rainfall flooding.
Earl was the first hurricane to make landfall in Belize, or anywhere in the western Caribbean Sea west of Jamaica, since Ernesto almost exactly four years ago (Aug. 7, 2012).
Rainfall totals of 8-12 inches (locally higher) are possible along the path of Earl in parts of Belize, Guatemala and southern Mexico, including parts of the Yucatan Peninsula. Dangerous flash flooding and mudslides are possible through the weekend in these areas.
Earl became a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday, August 3, when NOAA Hurricane Hunters found winds of 75 mph. Earl was just off the coast of Honduras at the time.
Earl was named late Tuesday morning after a Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance mission found that an area of low pressure had formed.
This system was already impactful prior to being named Earl. Six people were killed in the Dominican Republic Sunday into Monday as this system passed near the island