Tropical Storm Earl Forms in Caribbean Sea, Heads Toward Central America


Tropical Storm Earl formed Tuesday in the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 5 p.m. ET, the storm was located 200 miles south of Grand Cayman Island with wind speeds of 50 mph. It was moving west at 16 mph, bringing strong winds and locally heavy rain to Jamaica.

Earl is forecast to churn toward Central America, likely bringing heavy rain to parts of Honduras, Belize and Mexico on Wednesday and Thursday, the hurricane center said. Some areas in Belize and Mexico could get up to 16 inches of rain, which could trigger life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, the center warned.

Earl is expected reach near-hurricane strength by the time the storm approaches the Yucatan peninsula. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when sustained winds reach 74 mph. The storm poses no threat to the United States.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice