First tropical storm forms in Gulf

Arlene may bring flooding, mudslides to Mexico later this week

MIAMI (UPI) | June 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Arlene formed Tuesday in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico about 280 miles east-southeast of Tampico, Mexico, forecasters said.

At 6 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said the first storm of the 2011 Atlantic storm season was about 240 miles east of Tuxpan, Mexico, and was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 mph, with top sustained winds of 40 mph.

The government of Mexico posted a tropical storm warning for the northeastern Mexican coast from Barra de Nautila northward to Bahia Algodones.

Arlene was expected to turn toward the west in the next day or so and the center of the storm is expected to reach the area of the Mexican coast covered under the warning by Thursday.

The storm is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches over the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, with as much as 12 inches possible in some mountainous areas. Forecasters said the rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Tropical storm force winds are expected to reach the coastal area affected by the warning by late Wednesday. Storm surge will raise water levels above normal tide levels and the surge could be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

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