Governments issued hurricane warnings for the entire coast of Belize and the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Monday, U.S. forecasters said.
At 5 p.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Ernesto was about 135 miles northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua-Honduras border, producing sustained winds of 65 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
The storm was moving north-northwest at 12 mph.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the coast of Honduras from west of Punta Sal to the Guatemalan border; north of Tulum to Cancun on the east coast of the Yucatan.
The center said Ernesto was expected to produce 3 to 5 inches of rain along the north coast of Honduras and the northeast coast of Nicaragua, with isolated amounts of 8 inches in the mountains. Four to 8 inches of rain were expected over the southern part of the Yucatan and Belize.
The storm is likely to cause dangerous flash floods and mudslides for higher terrain, the center said.
Forecasters said a dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above high tide where the storm center makes landfall.
Further to the east over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Florence earlier was losing strength and was downgraded to post-tropical status and was expected to weaken and dissipate in the next two days.
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