Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall early Tuesday on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, dumping heavy rain and gusty winds. It could push a dangerous storm surge into the coast, forecasters warned.
Up to a foot of drenching rainfall is possible, with the potential for life-threatening flash floods, the National Hurricane Center warned. A storm surge of up to four feet — accompanied by large, destructive waves — is also possible as the storm slams into the shoreline.
Damaging wind gusts of 40-60 mph are also possible. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the storm's center.
The tourist resorts of Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel are at risk from the storm. In the higher terrain of Central America, the system could also trigger mudslides, AccuWeather meteorologist Eric Leister said.
As of 11 p.m. ET, Franklin had sustained winds of 60 mph and was located 75 miles east by northeast of Chetumal, Mexico, and 75 miles south of Tulum, Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm was moving west by northwest at 14 mph.
Tropical storm warnings were in effect for most of the Yucatan Peninsula. A hurricane watch was in effect for the coast of mainland Mexico from Puerto de Veracruz to Rio Panuco.
A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph.
After crossing the peninsula, Franklin could re-intensify into a hurricane in the Bay of Campeche to deliver another blow to Mexico's east coast later in the week.
"Franklin could be a hurricane by the time it makes a second landfall between Tampico and Veracruz, Mexico, on Thursday morning," said AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.
The United States shouldn't be directly affected by this system. However, rain may still graze south Texas, and rough seas may endanger swimmers all along the state's coastline as Franklin moves into Mexico.
Franklin is the sixth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. So far, all of the storms have only reached tropical-storm strength.
Far out in the Atlantic Ocean, a separate tropical system has a 20% chance of developing into a named storm over the next five days, the hurricane center said.
If it gets a name, the system would be called Gert.