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
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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 Sunday night, the storm was about 245 miles (395 kilometers) east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaraguan-Honduran border, the National Hurricane Center reported. Ernesto was moving west at 20 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of about 50 mph.
On the forecast track, the storm is expected to pass to the south of the Cayman Islands and move north of the northeastern coast of Honduras late Monday and Monday night.
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.
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.