Tropical Storm Franklin Weakening After Landfall as a Hurricane in Eastern Mexico; Major Inland Flood Threat Looms

Chris Dolce
Published: August 10, 2017

Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall as a hurricane in eastern Mexico overnight Wednesday night and, despite weakening rapidly, will pose a dangerous flood threat for some inland locations into Friday.

After becoming the Atlantic Basin's first hurricane of 2017 over the Bay of Campeche, Franklin made landfall around midnight CDT Thursday in the Mexican state of Veracruz as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum estimated winds of 85 mph.

(MORE: Hurricane Central)

La Vigueta in the state of Veracruz has reported a wind gust of 45 mph, while hurricane hunters reported wind gusts as high as 90 mph a few hundred miles off the coast mid-Wednesday evening. 

Franklin has now weakened to a tropical storm and will continue to drive inland roughly between Veracruz and Mexico City, weakening quickly as the low-level circulation is shredded by the area's mountains.

Projected Path and Intensity

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to wind down along the coast later Thursday morning, particularly in Veracruz state. 

(MORE: Water is a Tropical Storm's Deadliest Threat)

Up to 15 inches of rain may fall in eastern Mexico through Thursday associated with Franklin's final move inland. Flash flooding and mudslides are likely to be major concerns as Franklin grinds across this region's mountainous terrain.

Although Franklin's circulation may fall apart over Mexico, it will bring moisture with it across the continent. An additional 3 to 9 inches of rainfall is possible across southwestern Mexico from whatever is left of Franklin when it reaches the Pacific. 

Forecast Rainfall

A year ago, eastern Mexico was ravaged by flooding and mudslides from Tropical Storm Earl which claimed the lives of 81 people.

High surf, rip currents, and minor coastal flooding should affect southern Texas into Thursday. The National Weather Service in Brownsville, Texas, posted a high surf advisory for the South Texas coast through Thursday night. 

After dissipating over Mexico, remnant energy from Franklin may help spawn another tropical depression or tropical storm in the eastern Pacific in the days ahead.

(MORE: Franklin's "Ghost" to Spawn Another Tropical Cyclone?)

Franklin's First Landfall

Franklin made its first landfall as a tropical storm just before 11 p.m. CDT Monday night near Pulticub, Mexico, about 180 miles south-southwest of Cozumel. 

Significant flash flooding occurred in the city of Campeche as Franklin moved through Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday.

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