Aug. 7 (UPI) — Mexico issued a hurricane watch Monday as Tropical Storm Franklin organized near the Yucatan Peninsula and headed westward toward the mainland.
On Monday afternoon, Franklin’s center was about 185 miles due east of Belize City off the Central American coast and moving west-northwest toward Mexico at about 13 mph. It has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 1 p.m. advisory.
Belize and Mexico can expect up to 6 inches of rain throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, isolated totals of up to 12 inches, flash flooding and storm surges up to 2 to 4 feet along where the center makes landfall through Wednesday night.
Rip currents and coastal flooding are also expected.
The storm could gain strength as it proceeds westward, possibly making landfall at near-hurricane strength Monday night. It is expected to move back to water, into the Bay of Campeche, and could make landfall again by Thursday morning in eastern Mexico.
A high pressure system north of the affected region will likely keep the impact of the storm away from the United States.
The current hurricane watch applies to the coast of Mexico from Chetumal north to Punta Allen. It does does not include Cancun or the island of Cozumel.
Tropical storm warnings, indicating sustained winds of over 40 mph, are in place for Belize City north to the border of Mexico and from Chetumal north to Campeche in Mexico. Tropical storm watches are in effect for the coast of Mexico from Campeche north to Sabancuy.