Hurricane Rina is "hanging in there" with 85 mph winds after regressing to a Category One storm Wednesday, according to the Hurricane Center in Miami.
At 10 p.m. Wednesday forecasters said Rina could be a little bit stronger than earlier in the evening as it moved northwest at 6 mph.
A gradual weakening should begin after Thursday, said NHC experts.
Rina began Wednesday as a category two with winds of 110 miles per hour. A decrease in strength had been expected, but occurred sooner than projected due to an increase in upper level wind shear.
The storm was about 140 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico at 10 p.m. Wednesday, with a gradual turn to the north and a slight increase in forward speed expected by Thursday morning.
The official Hurricane Rina track by the National Hurricane Center places parts of South Florida in the "cone of potential" this weekend.
The cone remains wide, stretching from South Florida to western Cuba to the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
The eventual track of Rina depends greatly on the strength of the storm as it pulls away from the Yucatan Peninsula.
A hurricane warning was in effect for the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Gruesa to San Felipe. A tropical storm warning was in effect for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Punta Gruesa and the north coast west of San Felipe to Progreso.
A tropical storm watch was in effect for the coast of Belize from Belize City northward.
Strong winds and heavy rain was expected to affect much of the Yucatan Peninsula through Friday.