After further investigation of a strong tropical wave located south of Jamaica by the Air Force Reconnaissance aircraft, a closed low-level circulation was found and the system will be upgraded to Tropical Storm Earl with a Special Advisory to be issued before 11 a.m. CDT.

Earl is moving rapidly westward at 20 mph toward the northwestern Caribbean Sea and is forecast to make a landfall near Belize by tomorrow night with further strengthening expected over the next 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Earl, known up until now as Invest 97-L, will become the earliest 5th Atlantic named storm since Ernesto which formed on August 2, 2012.