Hurricane Ernesto nears Yucatan Peninsula
updated 8:52 PM EDT, Tue August 7, 2012
Ernesto is expected to bring areas in Belize, the southern Yucatan Peninsula and northern Guatemala up to 12 inches of rain.
- Hurricane Ernesto is expected to make landfall Tuesday night
- Outer bands of the storm, with tropical storm force winds, near land
- The storm is about 65 miles from Mexico's coast
Are you preparing for Hurricane Ernesto? Share your story with CNN iReport.
(CNN) -- Packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, Hurricane Ernesto strengthened as it closed in Tuesday on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said.
The Category 1 hurricane was forecast to make landfall Tuesday night and could strengthen before it does.
The Mexican government extended a hurricane warning to the island of Cozumel on Tuesday as the storm advanced in the Caribbean.
Belize issued a hurricane warning from Belize City to the border with Mexico. There is a tropical storm warning south of Belize City.
As of 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, the storm was about 65 miles (140 kilometers) east of Chetumal, Mexico, the National Hurricane Center reported. Ernesto was moving west at 18 mph. Hurricane force winds extended 35 miles (55 kilometers) from the storm's center, while tropical storm force winds reached up 140 miles (225 kilometers).
The eye of the storm was expected to cross the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday night, then move across the peninsula into the Bay of Campeche by Wednesday afternoon or evening.
The storm could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, the hurricane center warned.
Between 3 and 5 inches of rain are expected along the northern coast of Honduras, the hurricane center said. Some mountains might get up to 8 inches.
Complete coverage of weather
Belize, the southern Yucatan Peninsula and northern Guatemala may get up to 12 inches of rain in some areas.
Areas of Honduras and the Yucatan Peninsula were under tropical storm warnings.
Ernesto will cause a surge when it reaches the coast, increasing water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels in the area near and north of where the storm makes landfall, the hurricane center said.
NASA scientist links climate change, extreme weather
Lightning strikes outside NASCAR race, kills 1
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:17 AM EST, Mon November 5, 2012
A mother learns that her newborn is part of a hospital evacuation. Facebook posts from a member of the HMS Bounty turn ominous. A man worries about the wind and rain, but another force of nature hits home.
updated 2:53 PM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Tourists become volunteer rescue workers. The connected provide power outlets and Wi-Fi. Performers lift spirits. Photographers preserve images. Doctors work overtime to keep hospitals running and patients alive.
Get to know the victims of Superstorm Sandy through our interactive feature.
updated 10:42 AM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
It has been in operation only since October 30, but the Facebook page for "Giving back to those affected by Sandy" has a longer timeline than most Facebook members.
updated 3:07 PM EST, Sun November 25, 2012
It's important to remember that even as the effect of Superstorm Sandy recedes from the news, there are still devastated areas that are without electricity, heat or hot water.
updated 11:46 AM EST, Sat November 24, 2012
The rapper 50 Cent brought a little holiday cheer and Thanksgiving food to New Yorkers hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
updated 12:10 PM EST, Wed November 21, 2012
Our AmeriCares "Operation Muck-Out" team immediately got to work, ripping out the interior walls and removing the insulation until only wooden beams were standing.
updated 12:19 PM EST, Tue November 20, 2012
Ashley Murray became the first female president of Liberty Industrial Gases and Welding Supplies Inc. in Brooklyn. But now the family history Murray was charged with preserving is at risk of ending after Superstorm Sandy.
Truckloads of donations from across the country, carrying everything from bottled water to diapers, are arriving at places of worship.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Tue November 20, 2012
The adage says "a picture is worth a thousand words," but when Leeann Lewandowski happened upon a photograph of her late mother on Facebook after her home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, she was speechless.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri November 2, 2012
Roots ripped out of the ground as a large oak tree fell toward Olga Raymond's front door. With it came a power line.
iReporters share their photos, videos and stories of living in the path of the superstorm.