Tropical Storm Earl regained strength on Friday after the center moved over the southern Bay of Campeche near Veracruz, Mexico. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located at latitude 18.8°N and longitude 95.0°W which put it about 85 miles (135 km) east-southeast of Veracruz, Mexico. Earl was moving toward the west at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 70 m.p.h. (115 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.
Because Tropical Storm Earl re-intensified and the radius of tropical storm force winds expanded to the north, the government of Mexico extended Tropical Storm Warnings farther north along the coast. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto Dos Bocas to Tecolutla, Mexico.
Most of the circulation of Tropical Storm Earl remained intact while it moved over land from Belize to the Bay of Campeche. As a result, the surface part of the circulation on the northern side of Earl began to redevelop quickly as the center approached the water in the Bay of Campeche. A primary rainband wrapped most of the way around the center of circulation and other rainbands reformed over the Bay of Campeche. There have been hints on an incipient eye forming at the center of circulation on recent visible satellite images. Earl is a very well organized tropical storm.
The Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C in the southern Bay of Campeche. The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear. Upper level divergence is well formed in Tropical Storm Earl and it is pumping out mass. The environment is favorable for further intensification. However, the center of circulation is close to the coast and approximately 40% of the circulation is over land. So, the proximity to land is the main factor inhibiting further strengthening. Tropical Storm Earl does have a few hours to intensify and it could get stronger.
A subtropical ridge north of Earl is steering the tropical storm toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Earl will be very near Veracruz, Mexico in 10-12 hours.
The winds in Tropical Storm Earl are strong enough to create a storm surge of several feet (1-2 m) near where the center makes landfall and north of that location. The primary risks from Tropical Storm Earl will be very heavy rainfall and flash flooding.
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.
Based on data collected by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane, the National Hurricane Center designated a system previously known as Invest 97L as Tropical Storm Earl. At 12:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located at latitude 16.3°N and longitude 80.2°W which put it about 535 miles (860 km) east of Belize City, Belize. Earl was moving toward the west at 22 m.p.h. (35 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (70 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.
A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the portion of the coast from Punta Allen, Mexico to the Belize/Guatemala border. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the portion of the coast from Cabo Gracias a Dios to the Honduras/Guatemala border.
The recon plane found a small closed low level center of circulation on the western edge of a cluster of thunderstorms. The circulation around Tropical Storm Earl is very small. Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation. Most of the thunderstorms are occurring in the eastern half of the tropical storm. Those thunderstorms are generating upper level divergence which has pumped out enough mass to allow the surface pressure to decrease a few millibars during the past 12 hours.
The environment around Tropical Storm Earl is somewhat favorable for intensification. It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. An upper level low centered near the western tip of Cuba is producing southwesterly winds which are blowing over the western side of Tropical Storm Earl. Those westerly winds are producing some vertical wind shear, which is why most of the thunderstorms are in the eastern half of Earl. The wind shear is inhibiting intensification, but the upper low is forecast to move farther from Earl, which would reduce the shear. If Earl move north of the coast of Honduras, it should intensify. However, if the center of circulation moves over Honduras, then Earl could weaken fairly quickly because of its small size.
The subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean is steering Tropical Storm Earl toward the west at a fairly rapid speed. The high is expected to continue to steer Earl toward the west during the next several days, but the tropical storm is expected to move a little more slowly on Wednesday. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Earl is expected to pass just north of the coast of Belize. Earl could be very close to Belize in about 36 hours.
Earl is a small tropical storm and the greatest risks are locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding.