MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Ernesto is holding steady as a powerful tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of 11:00 p.m. Monday, Ernesto is located about 265 miles east of Isla Roatan, Honduras.
Maximum sustained winds are 65 mph, with higher guests. The storm’s motion is moving west-northwest at 13 mph.
This general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours at a slightly faster forward speed. On this forecast track the center of Ernesto is expected to pass just north of the coast of Honduras overnight Monday and Tuesday and approach the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula early Wednesday.
A reconnaissance aircraft that flew into the storm found that the storm has not strengthened since earlier Monday.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal northward to Punta Allen and for the entire coast of Belize.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Nicaragua/Honduras border west to Punta Sal and north of Punta Allen to Tulum on the east coast of the Yucatan.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from north of Tulum to Chetumal and for the coast of Honduras from west of Puntal Sal to the Honduras/Guatemala border.
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Ernesto is expected to dump upwards of 5 inches of rain along the northern coast of Honduras and the northeast coast of Nicaragua with isolated areas receiving up to 8 inches of rain. The system could dump as much as 12 inches of rain in the southern Yucatan and in Belize.
Hurricane conditions are expected to hit the coasts of Belize and Mexico by early Wednesday.