Hurricane Rina Strengthens off of Yucatan Peninsula

According to the most recent bulletin from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, issued at 11:00 EDT, Hurricane Rina was located about 300 miles, 480 km, east southeast of Chetumal Mexico, and about 305 miles, 490 km, southeast of Tulum Mexico.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds are 105 mph, 165 km/h, with higher gusts. The NHC said Rina is now “a category two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale,” and “additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Rina is expected to become a major hurricane by tonight.”

It is moving west northwest at around 3 mph, a little less than 5km/h. A gradual turn toward the northwest with some increase in forward speed is expected over the next 48 hours. “On the forecast track…the center of Rina will approach the coast within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday night and Thursday.”

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15 miles, 24 km, from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles, 185 km from the center.

If Rina continues on the same path, it Rina could pass over western Cuba Saturday night or Sunday morning. If the storm continues more or less in the same direction, it could pose a threat to the Florida Keys, and the western tip of the state by next week.

Source: National Hurricane Center