Hurricane Earl made landfall overnight, according to the National Hurricane Center. At 2:00 AM EDT Earl was located by radar in Belize City.
Earl continues to move toward the west at 14 mph. Some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Earl will move across central or northern Belize during the next several hours, and move over the southern Yucatan peninsula of Mexico or northern Guatemala later on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 75 mph with higher gusts, and additional weakening is expected as the center moves farther inland. Earl is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm later this morning and to a tropical depression by Friday morning.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
Hurricane conditions are spreading through central and northern Belize near the center of Earl. Tropical storm conditions are spreading across the coasts of Belize and Mexico elsewhere in the warned area, and should spread into the southern Yucatan Peninsula and northern Guatemala this morning.
Earl is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches over portions of Belize, Guatemala, and the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana, Tabasco and Veracruz through Friday morning. Isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches are possible in Belize, northern Guatemala and the central part of the Mexican state of Chiapas. These rains could result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
A storm surge along the immediate coast of Belize and the eastern Yucatan Peninsula should subside today as the center of Earl moves farther inland. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves.
The National Hurricane Center will issue the next intermediate advisory at 800 AM EDT and the next complete advisory at 1100 AM EDT.
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