Tropical Storm Earl Nearing Southern Bay of Campeche

Tropical Storm Earl was maintaining its intensity as it approached the southern Bay of Campeche on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located at latitude 18.1°N and longitude 91.7°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km/h) south-southeast of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico.  Earl was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

The government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the portion of the coast from Ciudad del Carmen to Laguna Verde.

Despite moving over land for almost 24 hours the structure of Tropical Storm Earl retained much of its integrity.  A primary rainband wrapped around three quarters of the way around the southern and eastern portions of the center center.  A weather station at Ciudad del Carmen reported wind gusts to tropical storm force.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Earl is still generating upper level divergence, especially to the east of Earl.  The upper level divergence pumped out enough mass to allow the surface pressure to remain near 1000 mb.

The center of Tropical Storm Earl could move near the southern Bay of Campeche on Friday morning.  The Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C in that part of the Bay of Campeche.  If Earl moves along the coast, it is likely to maintain tropical storm intensity for another 24 to 36 hours.  If the center of Earl moves out over the southern Bay of Campeche it could intensify given the organization that still exists in the tropical storm.

A ridge of high pressure is steering Tropical Storm Earl toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Earl could be near Veracruz, Mexico in another 24 hours.  The primary risk associated with Tropical Storm Earl is heavy rain and flooding.  Tropical Storm Earl is still causing heavy rain over parts of Mexico, Honduras and Belize.  However, Earl could also generate some storm surge along portions of the southern Bay of Campeche.