As Hurricane Rina churned in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday, weather officials warned of a possible direct hit on Cancun, Mexico later this week. The National Hurricane Center said Rina appears to be gradually gaining strength and could become a major Category 3 storm by Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Rina is expected to hit Cancun Thursday.
“The hurricane is situated over a region of very high ocean heat content. Based on the favorable environment, strengthening to major hurricane intensity appears likely,” the hurricane center said.
Currently a Category 2 hurricane, Rina is packing maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. At 11 a.m. Tuesday, forecasters put the storm system moving west-northwest at 3 mph about 305 miles southeast of Tulum, Mexico. Rina is expected to turn northeast over the next 48 hours. A hurricane watch has been issued for most of the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
After hitting the peninsula, Hurricane Rina is expected to turn away from the Gulf and move towards western Cuba.
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