Hurricane Richard is expected to make landfall this Sunday evening across central Belize with hurricane force winds. Tropical storm force winds should be present in Belize by this afternoon.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Belize. A hurricane watch is also in effect for parts of México. The worst of the storm is remaining to the north of Honduras.

Further strengthening is expected this afternoon before landfall, due to very warm Caribbean water and light atmospheric winds. Strong atmospheric winds would tear the storm apart.

Strong storm winds in excess of 80 mph and flash flooding are the major concerns. A general 3-6 inches of rain is anticipated in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula, with some spots possibly picking up to 10 inches. The storm surge in Belize will raise water levels by about 3 to 5 feet along the coast.

At this time, most preparations should have taken place and residents of the area should seek shelter, especially those along the coast.

Richard will continue to affect the region at least through Tuesday morning, continuing to produce more rain. Heavy rain across mountainous terrain can trigger flash flooding and mudslides, a major concern.

When Richard exits into the southwest Gulf of México, strong wind shear will hinder reintinsefication.