Mexico bracing for Hurricane Franklin after storm hits land

Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall late Monday, hitting Belize and Mexico’ on the eastern Yucatan Peninsula. It is expected to travel over the Bay of Campeche and hit the Mexican coast a second time by Thursday. Image courtesy NHC/NOAA

Aug. 8 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Franklin hit the east coast of Mexico late Monday, packing winds of about 60 mph — but another part of the Yucatan Peninsula is getting ready for what might be Hurricane Franklin by Thursday.

Heavy rain hit Belize and Yucatan as the storm made landfall late Monday. Between 3 and 6 inches of rain is expected, with some areas anticipating up to 12 inches.

A hurricane watch was put into effect from Puerto de Veracruz to Rio Panuco.

Flash flooding is a concern from Chetumal to Sabancuy, and the Belize coast from Belize City northward to the border with Mexico. Rip currents and coastal flooding are also expected.

The storm is moving at about 14 mph, and was about 85 miles east of Chetumal, the National Hurricane Center said in its 7 a.m. advisory on Tuesday. Winds of tropical storm force extend outward about 140 miles from the center of the storm.

As the storm proceeds northwestward, it will again encounter water in the Bay of Campeche and could make landfall again by Thursday morning in eastern Mexico.

Forecasters say passing over the warm water will likely accelerate the storm. It’s expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when it hits the Mexican coast again, between Tampico and Veracruz, the National Hurricane Center projected.

The NHC added that water levels on the eastern Yucatan coast could rise two feet above normal tide levels on Tuesday.

A high pressure system north of the affected region will likely keep the impact of the storm away from the United States.

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