Tropical Storm Franklin weakens over Yucatan Peninsula: US National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Franklin weakens over Yucatan Peninsula: US National Hurricane Center

Tropical storm warnings had been issued for several major tourist hot spots along Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula late yesterday, approximately 290 km south-southwest of Cozumel.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm's center was 40 miles (60 kilometers) northwest of Campeche and was heading west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

Franklin is blowing maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (97 kph), and the center of the storm is expected to make landfall late Monday night, cross the peninsula and then reach the Bay of Campeche late Tuesday on the other side, the Miami-based NHC said in an advisory. The Riviera Maya refers to a Caribbean costal area that encompasses such cities as Cancun.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Mexico's coast from Veracruz to Rio Panuco. The storm was expected to gain more power as it moved across the lower reaches of the southern Gulf of Mexico and likely would be a hurricane by Wednesday evening, the centre said. Tropical storm-force winds extended up to 295 kilometres from the centre.

"The second impact could even be stronger than the first", De la Cruz warned. Heavy rains are expected along Mexico on the gulf coast as Franklin approaches and once it reaches land. Four to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain were forecast for mainland areas in the storm's path, with localized amounts of up to 15 inches (38 centimeters).

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