(Updates storm’s position in second paragraph.)
Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Rina neared landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, bringing heavy rain and wind to the popular tourist areas along the coast, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Rina, with top winds of 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour, is 70 miles south of Cozumel and moving north at 6 mph. The storm is expected to pass that resort island and the city of Cancun later today and tomorrow, the center said in an advisory at 2 p.m. New York time.
“The new intensity forecast calls for a faster weakening than previous, with Rina weakening to a tropical depression in about 72 hours and degenerating into a remnant low by 120 hours,” the center said in an analysis.
The center’s latest forecast track calls for the storm to reverse direction after passing the northern edge of the peninsula and head south, back into the western Caribbean, where it will dissipate. The path resembles an upside-down U.
Rina is expected to drop 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) of rain across the Yucatan with some areas receiving as much as 10 inches. The storm will also drive tides 1 foot to 3 feet higher than normal, according to the center.
The Mexican government changed all hurricane warnings for the area to tropical storm warnings, the center said. Storm warnings are in place on the coast from Chetumal to Progreso.
Six years ago, Hurricane Wilma heavily damaged parts of the peninsula, washing away swathes of Cancun’s white-sand beaches. Mexican authorities set up evacuation shelters yesterday in some areas, canceled classes and suspended most ferry and boat traffic in the Cozumel, Cancun and Riviera Maya areas.
The storm’s path will keep it away from the U.S., the Bay of Campeche and the Gulf of Mexico, where oil and natural-gas platforms and rigs are concentrated, forecasters said. The Gulf is home to 27 percent of U.S. oil production and 6.5 percent of gas output.
Rina is the 17th storm of the 2011 Atlantic season. An average season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, has 11 named storms, those with cyclonic winds of at least 39 mph.
--With assistance from Sherry Su and Alex Morales in London and Randall Hackley in Zurich. Editors: Charlotte Porter, David Marino
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