More storm-blown devastation is headed for Mexico, which has already been hammered by the remnants of hurricanes on its east and west coasts during the past week. The tropical storms left at least 80 dead, with dozens more still missing.
And as Mexicans brace for a hurricane that has formed off its west coast, meteorologists are warning U.S. Gulf of Mexico residents that a tropical storm could reach there next week.
Tropical storm Manuel hit Mexico’s western coastline on Sunday before heading back over the Pacific Ocean. But before it left it dumped enough rain to trigger a landslide in a mountainside coffee-growing village, burying homes and leaving 58 people unaccounted for. Tropical storm Ingrid hit the county’s east coast at about the same time, wreaking carnage and leaving tourists stranded in Acapulco.
Since returning to the ocean, Manuel has been picking up strength. Early Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center warned that Manuel was a Category 1 hurricane that was “crawling” northward — back in the direction of Mexico’s coastline. From an A.P. report:
The storm that devastated the Pacific resort over the weekend regained strength on Wednesday and became hurricane Manuel, taking a route that could see it make landfall on Mexico’s north-western coast. It would be a third blow to a country still reeling from the one-two punch of Manuel’s first landfall and hurricane Ingrid on Mexico’s eastern coast.
Meanwhile, meteorologists are warning that a tropical storm appears to be forming over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that may veer north and slam into the U.S. Gulf Coast. From USA Today:
Once it forms, the storm is expected to wander around the Gulf for a while, and potentially could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast next week, according to some of the computer models that meteorologists use to forecast weather, says Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters.
Regardless of its exact track, heavy rain from the system is likely to drench part of northeastern Mexico and the Texas coast this weekend, says AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Flash floods are possible along the Texas coast, along with rough surf and strong rip currents, he adds.
In eastern Mexico, rain from the storm “could cause life-threatening floods and mudslides over areas already impacted by torrential rains during the past several days,” the hurricane center forecasts in an online report.
The wild coastal weather follows what had been a calm summer free of hurricanes. These recent storms struck just as we passed the traditional peak time for such tempests, but the season still has a long way to go: