Tropical Storm Franklin could be hurricane when it hits Yucatan


The second weather system that bears watching is currently dubbed “99L” in the central Atlantic.

Staff Report

Tropical Storm Franklin could be near hurricane strength when it hits Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula Monday night. Weather services also are monitoring a second system that is in the central Atlantic and tracking toward the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 7 a.m. CST Monday that Franklin’s top winds already strengthened to 50 mph in the northwestern Caribbean, where it’s moving west-northwest at 13 mph off the coast of Honduras.

It was expected to hold that course, making landfall at the Yucatan tonight, then crossing over the Gulf Tuesday on a path to central Mexico.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the coast of Mexico from Chetumal to Punta Allen, and with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 140 miles from the center, Belize could feel the effects by late afternoon.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 24 hours.

Accuweather is reporting that high pressure nosing over the northern Gulf of Mexico is expected to prevent Franklin from turning northward to Texas. However, rain may still graze South Texas, and rough seas may endanger swimmers all along the state’s coastline as it moves into Mexico.

The second weather system that bears watching is currently dubbed “99L.” According to Accuweather, the system is over warm water in the Atlantic and is not being affected by disruptive winds.

If 99L develops and/or survives, then it is likely to approach the Windward and Leeward islands around Wednesday night.

Accuweather noted in a report, “A weak and poorly organized system is more likely to track to the west. A developed system is more likely to track north of west.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.