- Posted October 26, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Hurricane season 2011
Hurricane Rina weakens as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula
Cancun, MEXICO - Over the past couple of hours Rina has weakened to a category 1 hurricane but is still expected to be at hurricane strength or a very strong tropical storm when she passes over or near Cozumel and then onto the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula and the resorts of Cancun and Play del Carmen. Flooding will be the main threat as 8 to 16 inches of rain is expected.
According to the National Hurricane Center, at 1230 PM CDT (1730 UTC), the center of Hurricane Rina was located about 180 miles (290 km) south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico and about 165 miles (270 km) east of Chetumal, Mexico. Rina is moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h). A gradual turn to the northwest with a slight increase in forward speed is expected this afternoon, followed by a turn toward the north on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Rina will be moving near or over the East Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday.
Reports from a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 85 mph (140 km/h) with higher gusts. Rina is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours. However, Rina is expected to be at hurricane strength when the center passes near or over the Yucatan Peninsula. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).
Threats & Damages
Wind...Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the coast in the Tropical Storm Warning area this afternoon making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the Hurricane Warning area by early Thursday.
Rainfall...Rina is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 8 to 16 inches over the eastern Yucatan Peninsula and Cozumel through Friday with flooding as the main threat.
Storm surge...A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast near and to the right of the track of the center. Near the coast...the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
Watches & Warnings
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* The East Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from north of Punta Gruesa to San Felipe
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* The East Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Punta Gruesa
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* The coast of Belize from Belize City northward
* The Honduran Bay Islands of Roatan and Guanaja
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