Tropical Storm Richard continues to churn in the western Caribbean. Though the system will be moving over relatively warm waters the next 12-24 hours, the system's close interaction to land should inhibit any rapid intensification.

Another possible inhibiting factor will be the drier air which exists in the extreme northwestern Caribbean near Belize.

Richard will impact southern and central Belize later Sunday evening and night as a strong tropical storm. It is possible the system strengthens to a minimal hurricane, though the impacts will generally be the same. Gusty winds and heavy rains will batter the northern Honduras coast Saturday night and Sunday. Deteriorating conditions will be felt along the Belize coast later Sunday into Sunday night.

Weakening of Richard is expected upon landfall, with unfavorable conditions for strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico.

Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Justin Povick