Caribbean-On-Line's Caribbean Hurricane Blog

Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Earl Summary

Published on August 17, 2016 9:58 PM | Comments

Hurricane Earl was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane to impact Mexico since Hurricane Stan in 2005. The fifth named storm and second hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, Earl formed from a tropical wave south of Jamaica on August 2. The precursor to Earl brought torrential rainfall and flooding to the Lesser Antilles. Upon classification, tropical storm warnings were issued for the coastal areas of Belize, Honduras, and the southern portion of the Yucat√°n Peninsula. The warnings were extended and upgraded when Earl reached hurricane status. On August 4, Earl made landfall south of Belize City. Upon landfall, some of the warnings were discontinued. Following this, Earl exited in the Bay of Campeche and followed the coastline as it restrengthened slightly. This prompted more tropical storm warnings for the Mexican coast.

Prior to Earl becoming a tropical cyclone, 13 people died in storm-related incidents across the Dominican Republic. Striking Belize as a Category 1, the hurricane caused extensive damage; losses to agriculture exceeded US$100 million. Heavy rain in Mexico triggered many landslides, several of which proved fatal in the states of Puebla, Hidalgo, and Veracruz; at least 54 people died in the country. Lesser effects were felt in neighboring countries in Central America.


Earl makes it to hurricane status

Published on August 3, 2016 11:16 PM | Comments

It isn't a very powerful storm and isn't forecast to maintain hurricane status for long, but unfortunately it will probably be quite an issue for Belize and parts of Guatemala and Mexico, with rainfall totals up to 18 inches!

1000 PM CDT WED AUG 03 2016

Earl has been under close surveillance by Air Force and NOAA
Hurricane Hunter planes and the Belize Meteorological Service radar
this evening. The Air Force Hurricane Hunters found peak 700 mb
flight-level winds of 72 kt which converts to a surface wind of 65
kt, and this is used for the advisory intensity. Belize radar
imagery shows that the eyewall has been fluctuating between an open
and closed structure over the past several hours. There is little
time left for Earl to strengthen before the center reaches the
coast, and no significant intensification is anticipated before
landfall. A steady weakening trend will commence after the
tropical cyclone moves inland. Based on the latest track
guidance, the center is forecast to only barely emerge into the
extreme southern Bay of Campeche on Thursday, and this should limit
reintensification at that time. Earl is expected to become a
remnant low and dissipate over the high mountains of south-central
Mexico by the weekend or sooner.

Earl continues to move slightly north of due west or 280/13 kt.
The cyclone remains embedded in a well-defined steering flow to the
south of a large and slow-moving mid-tropospheric high pressure
system. Little change has been made to the previous official
forecast track and the current NHC forecast remains close to the
multi-model consensus.

After landfall, the biggest concern with Earl is rainfall. Global
models depict the system becoming enveloped within a much
larger-scale cyclonic gyre that will cover much of southern Mexico
in a couple of days. This weather pattern will likely lead to
copious rains, with isolated precipitation totals of 18 inches


INIT 04/0300Z 17.4N 87.6W 65 KT 75 MPH
12H 04/1200Z 17.7N 89.3W 50 KT 60 MPH...INLAND
24H 05/0000Z 18.2N 91.4W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
36H 05/1200Z 18.5N 93.5W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
48H 06/0000Z 18.8N 95.1W 30 KT 35 MPH...OVER WATER
72H 07/0000Z 20.0N 98.3W 20 KT 25 MPH...INLAND
96H 08/0000Z...DISSIPATED

Tropical Storm Earl forms in the western Caribbean

Published on August 2, 2016 10:21 PM | Comments

Tropical Storm Earl finally cropped up today in the western Caribbean Sea:

500 PM EDT TUE AUG 02 2016

An Air Force reconnaissance plane investigated Earl a few hours
ago and measured flight-level winds of about 54 kt in the northeast
quadrant on its last leg. It also measured a minimal central
pressure of 1002 mb. Another Air Force plane will be in Earl
tonight along with the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft. The
satellite presentation has not changed significantly during the day,
and Dvorak T-numbers, along with the plane data, yield an initial
intensity of 45 kt. Global models have consistently forecast a
little better environment, and the NHC forecast calls for some
strengthening. Earl could be near hurricane strength as it
approaches the Yucatan peninsula and Belize.

It appears that Earl has slowed down as anticipated, and is
now moving westward or 275 degrees at 14 kt. The cyclone is
embedded within the deep easterly flow on the south side of a ridge.
This flow pattern will continue to steer Earl on a general west to
west-northwest track with a gradual decrease in forward speed across
Belize and the Yucatan peninsula during the next 2 days or so. After
that time, Earl will likely move over the southern portion of the
Bay of Campeche where it could re-intensify some. There is good
confidence with this track scenario, and the NHC forecast very
closely follows the multi-model consensus.


INIT 02/2100Z 16.4N 81.5W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 03/0600Z 16.5N 83.6W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 03/1800Z 17.0N 86.0W 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 04/0600Z 17.5N 88.3W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 04/1800Z 18.0N 90.5W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
72H 05/1800Z 19.0N 94.0W 40 KT 45 MPH...OVER WATER
96H 06/1800Z 20.0N 98.5W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
120H 07/1800Z...DISSIPATED

This storm doesn't look like it will have much more effect on the Caribbean islands we cover here, so we probably won't be doing much more reporting on it.