Earl nearing hurricane strength in the Caribbean

Latest forecast for Earl
Latest forecast for Earl

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    Latest forecast for Earl

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Latest forecast for Earl 00:34

Story highlights

  • Storm headed toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Belize
  • No direct impact is expected in the United States

(CNN)Tropical Storm Earl is moving through the western Caribbean, gathering strength as it's set to make landfall early Thursday in Belize. Earl is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane before landfall in the Central American country.

A hurricane warning is in effect from Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico, south to the Belize-Guatemala border as well as the Bay Islands in Honduras.
    There is a tropical storm warning out for much of the Honduran coast as well as for part of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula south of Cozumel.
    The storm has winds of 70 mph (113 kilometers per hour). A Category 1 hurricane has winds of 74 to 95 mph (119 to 153 kilomters per hour).
    At 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, Earl was about 235 miles (380 kilometers) east-southeast of Belize City and moving west at 14 mph (22 kilometers per hour).
    The National Hurricane Center in Miami is forecasting heavy rainfall of 8 to 12 inches over parts of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula, which could lead to mudslides in the mountainous terrain.
    A storm surge could cause coastal flooding as well, raising tide levels 4 to 6 feet, especially along the Belize and southern Yucatan coastlines.
    There is little chance the storm will directly affect the United States.