Tropical disturbance could become named storm Earl

National Weather Service

A tropical disturbance entered the western Caribbean Sea and looks as though it will head toward the Yucatan Peninsula later in the week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Invest 97-L, which will be named Earl if it strengthens that much, likely will track toward Belize before crossing the Yucatan.

A Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane was sent to investigate on Monday, but had to turn back early because of maintenance issues. Another plane was launched as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The weather system, while not even rising to tropical depression status, still produced storms strong enough to kill six people in the Dominican Republic on Sunday when it passed near the island.

Measurements taken show winds in the 40-45 mph range since early Monday, which indicates it could become Tropical Storm Earl sometime Tuesday.

Some tropical storm-force winds are expected across Jamaica and the Cayman Islands on Tuesday and local flash flooding could occur in Jamaica.