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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Franklin hits the southern half of the Yucatán Peninsula

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Weather Channel radar shows Tropical Storm Franklin at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall at tiny Pulticub, Quintana Roo, just before 11 p.m. Monday, where it immediately weakened as it began its journey across the Yucatán Peninsula.

Winds early today were recorded at 50 mph (80 kph), and are expected to weaken as long as the storm is over land, said the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Pulticub is about 180 miles south of Cozumel.

NOAA weather track shows Franklin’s path across the lower half of the Yucatán Peninsula.

That journey will end later today as it hits the Bay of Campeche, and make landfall again on the other side in Veracruz by Thursday. By then, NOAA’s Hurricane Center says Franklin will gain strength again and could become the Atlantic Basin’s first hurricane of the season.

Quintana Roo state authorities moved residents from vulnerable coastal villages to shelters. Business along the coast were urged to close and the Chetumal airport shut down overnight.

Franklin is moving west-northwest at about 10 to 15 mph across the Peninsula, bringing bands of heavy rain with gusty wind. Campeche City clocked a wind gust of 46 mph late Monday.

Tropical storm warnings are in place across most of the Peninsula, from Cancún and across the southern border into Belize City.

Strong wind gusts from Franklin may cause some tree damage and power outages in the Yucatan Peninsula through Tuesday.

As of Tuesday morning, the storm has had little effect on Yucatán’s larger cities to the north, but there were ominous signs, some mentioned on social media.

“I know a storm is coming,” posted one expat in Mérida. “Not a bird making a peep.”

Sources: NOAA, Weather Channel, Associated Press

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