Earl has been upgraded to a hurricane as the system bears down on Belize, threatening flash floods and mud slides.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Earl had top sustained winds Wednesday of 75 mph (120 kph). It was moving west at 14 mph (22 kph) toward Belize and was about 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of Belize City.
A hurricane warning has been issued for the coast of Belize. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Honduran coast.
Forecasters said Earl was threatening to bring heavy rains, flooding and high winds to Mexico, Belize and Honduras, and was likely to blow past Honduras' Roatan Island, a popular tourist destination, on Wednesday afternoon.
NBC 5 Meteorologist Samantha Davies said the area of high pressure keeping North Texas hot will also keep Earl away from Texas, driving it through the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico and into Central Mexico.