Franklin is first hurricane of 2017 season, will hit Mexico tonight

Hurricane Franklin is expected to slam into the east coast of Mexico late Wednesday or early Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The hurricane was upgraded from a tropical storm Wednesday afternoon. It's the first hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season.

As much as 15 inches of rain is possible in portions of eastern Mexico, which could cause "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," the center said. A 4- to 6-foot storm surge is also forecast.

As of 5 p.m. ET, Franklin had winds of 75 mph. It was moving to the west at 12 mph and was located 105 miles east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico. 

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

At landfall, winds could reach as high as 85 mph. A hurricane warning is in effect for Mexico's coast from Veracruz north to Cabo Rojo.

Franklin made its first landfall Monday on the east coast of the Yucatan as a tropical storm, dumping heavy rain and causing flooding.

Mexico Civil Protection director Ricardo de la Cruz told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the storm’s impact on Yucatan was not as bad as initially feared. Some trees were down, and power was out in some areas. But, he warned, “The second impact could even be stronger than the first.”

Since 1851, 23 storms have crossed the Yucatan and emerged in the Bay of Campeche, University of Miami meteorologist Brian McNoldy told the Capital Weather Gang.

He said 15 of them became hurricanes, as Franklin did. The most recent hurricane landfall there was Karl, on Sept. 17, 2010, which hit as a Category 3 hurricane on the 1-5 Saffir-Simpson scale.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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