MEXICO CITY (AP) — A strengthening Tropical Storm Nana roared toward Central America on Wednesday and was expected to become a hurricane before making landfall on the coast of Belize after brushing past Honduras.
The National Hurricane Center said the entire coast of Belize had been placed under a hurricane watch and warned that people in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula should closely monitor the storm’s progress. It said Nana is expected to pass near but north of the coast of Honduras on Wednesday and likely reach Belize early Thursday.
Strong winds, a dangerous storm surge and very heavy rainfall causing flash flooding are likely, it said.
At 11 p.m. EDT, Nana’s center was located about 485 miles (775 kilometers) east of Belize City and about 320 miles (520 kilometers) east-northeast of Limon, Honduras. Nana was moving west at 18 mph (30 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph).
Meanwhile Tropical Storm Omar formed off the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday and was moving away from land.
The Hurricane Center expects Omar to be short-lived. Late Tuesday, it had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kiph), with little change expected overnight. Omar was 310 miles (500 kilometers) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and moving east-northeast at 14 mph (22 kph). Forecasters predicted it will weaken Wednesday night.
Nana and Omar are the earliest 14th and 15th named storms on record, beating the 2005 arrivals of Nate on Sept. 6 and Ophelia on Sept. 7, according to Colorado State University professor Phil Klotzbach.