<---This satellite image, taken at 4:15 a.m. ET Monday, shows Felix at Category 5 stage.
ORANJESTAD, Aruba - Felix rapidly strengthened into a dangerous Category 5 hurricane and churned through the Caribbean Sea on a path toward Central America, where forecasters said it could make landfall as "potentially catastrophic" storm.
Felix was packing winds of up to 165 mph as it headed west, according to the U.S.. It was projected to skirt ' coastline on Tuesday before slamming into on Wednesday.
Hurricane watches have been issued for the Caribbean coast ofand the entire coast of Belize as Felix churns west through the Caribbean.
"As it stands, we're still thinking that it will be a potentially catastrophic system in the early portions of this week, Tuesday evening, possibly affecting Honduras and then toward the coast of Belize," said Dave Roberts, a hurricane specialist at the center in.