Hurricane Earl blasted the northern Leeward Islands early Monday as it continued to churn through the northern Caribbean, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane conditions from the Category 3 hurricane were expected later Monday in the U.S. Virgin Islands and are possible in Puerto Rico later Monday evening.
Florida is not in the forecast path.
Earl's path was expected to take it through the northern Caribbean islands before turning northwest Tuesday. Earl was expected to pass over or near the northernmost U.S. Virgin Islands this afternoon or evening.
A swath of the U.S. East Coast from the mid Atlantic states to the northeast could feel Earl's impact, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.
Earl had sustained winds near 120 mph and was moving west-northwest near 15 mph. Forecasters expected it to strengthen in the next two days.
Earl could bring large, battering waves and a storm surge of up to 5 feet above normal in areas within the hurricane warning.
Total rainfall over the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico was expected to range from 4 to 8 inches, creating a risk of dangerous flash flooding and mud slides.
Hurricane warnings were in effect for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, parts of the Leeward Islands, Culebra and Vieques
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