A strengthening Tropical Storm Karl is nearing Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula today, bearing down on the resort beaches of the Mayan Riviera.
Karl has maximum sustained winds of about 45mph and was about 185 miles east of Chetumal, the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said.
Mexico’s government issued a tropical storm warning for the peninsula from Chetumal northward to Cabo Catoche. Parts of Belize are under a tropical storm watch.
The storm is expected to smack into land near Tulum, a beach town of eco-resorts and cliffside Mayan ruins, and then quickly weaken into a tropical depression before heading back out over the Gulf of Mexico, where it could strengthen into a hurricane by the end of the week.
Authorities on the Yucatan warned the population of heavy rains but said they saw no need yet for evacuations.
The storm threw doubt over the area’s celebration of Mexico’s bicentennial anniversary of independence from Spain, although there was no immediate decision to cancel festivities.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Julia rapidly intensified in the open Atlantic and became a major Category 3 storm with maximum winds near 125mph. Also far from land over the Atlantic, Hurricane Igor’s top winds increased to 155mph.