MIAMI (AP) — A tropical depression formed Monday in the Gulf of Mexico and forecasters warn it could become a tropical storm during the night or on Tuesday, capably of dumping heavy rains over parts of southern Mexico and Central America.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the depression formed Monday afternoon about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west-southwest of Campeche, Mexico. At 5 p.m. EDT, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (45 kph) as it moved toward the west-northwest near 7 mph (11 kph).
The government of Mexico has issued a tropical storm warning from Campeche west to the port of Veracruz on that country’s Gulf coast. The warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in that warning area within 36 hours.
Meanwhile, a tropical storm warning was issued for an area in Mexico from Campeche to Veracruz.
The Miami-based hurricane center said the storm is expected to unleash heavy rains with potential accumulations of 10 to 15 inches (25-40 centimeters) over parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Veracruz and adjacent portions of Guatemala.
Forecasters added that 5 to 10 inches (12-25 centimeters) of rain could fall on parts of El Salvador and Honduras with possibly higher amounts in isolated areas.
The hurricane center said the storm, because of the expected heavy rains, threatens possible flash floods and mudslides in areas along its projected path in the southern Gulf.