Hurricane Rina Approaching Belize, Yucatan

October 26, 2011; 7:05 PM ET
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Hurricane Rina is on a collision course with Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Thursday, but its prospects to remain organized thereafter seem bleak.

The storm remains a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph after weakening from its Category 2 status Wednesday morning.

Despite the weakening, Rina still poses a significant threat to the Yucatan Peninsula.

Rina remains a dangerous storm in the northwestern Caribbean, churning less than 200 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Satellite image of Hurricane Rina, from NOAA

Rina threatens lives and property with heavy rain and strong winds over the Yucatan Peninsula through tomorrow.

The outer rain bands of Rina started hitting the eastern shores of Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday afternoon and evening. Winds will increase to tropical storm-force tonight. Thursday is when the worst of Rina will pound the Mexican states of Quintana Roo and eastern Yucatan.

Cities in Rina's direct path, including the popular resort cities of Cozumel and Cancun, are bracing for strong winds capable of causing tree and window damage and lengthy power outages.

Fishermen secure their boat in anticipation of Hurricane Rina's arrival in Cancun, Mexico, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Israel Leal)

However, Rina could dissipate quickly after passing the Yucatan Peninsula Friday. In fact, Rina may dissolve into a tropical rainstorm over eastern Cuba for the latter half of this weekend.

Although a significant impact on southern Florida appears unlikely at this point, all residents and visitors across the Florida Peninsula should check back with the Hurricane Center to monitor the latest on Rina.

The immediate coastline also faces flooding from pounding surf, especially along and to the north of where Rina comes onshore.

Content to this story contributed in part by Andy Mussoline, Meteorologist.


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