There’s not much to say about Earl this morning. The tropical storm continues to strengthen and is almost a hurricane. Air pressure is down to 989 mb and the winds have increased to 70 mph. It won’t take much to have the first hurricane of the season (there was a hurricane in January but I don’t count that one as being in the season for obvious reasons).
For residents and visitors in Belize, the impacts will depend on just how strong Earl gets before landfall. There is still time over the very warm western Caribbean for it to strengthen and it seems almost certain that it will become a hurricane.
Aside from the heavy rain that will accompany Earl, the NHC mentions storm surge of 3-5 feet above normal tide levels impacting areas to the north of where the center makes landfall. This is not severe but enough of a danger to be taken very seriously.
I am not as concerned about the wind right now – assuming Earl becomes a category one hurricane, those winds can be dealt with as long as people use common sense and stay out of harm’s way. My concern is the heavy rain and coastal storm surge. We lose more people to water than wind – by far.
Once the 11am NHC advisory is issued, I will produce a video discussion covering the impacts that Earl are likely to bring to the region. I’ll post that here, in our app and on our YouTube channel.
M. Sudduth 10:05 AM ET Aug 3