Hurricane Grace to Bring Mudslides, ‘Destructive Waves’ to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula
© AP Photo / Marco UgarteWorkers cover shop windows with plywood in Tulum, Quintana Roo State, Mexico, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Residents and tourists along the Caribbean coast began making preparations for Grace, a storm that drenched Haiti and Jamaica and is now forecast to hit Mexico´s Yucatan peninsula like a hurricane early Thursday morning.
© AP Photo / Marco Ugarte
The US National Hurricane Center earlier predicted that the 2021 hurricane season would be one more of the more destructive and active to date, with as many as 21 named storms. Of the tally, between three and five storms are expected to become major hurricanes.
Hurricane Grace is set to bring heavy rainfall and “destructive waves” that may likely prompt disastrous mudslides across much of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula after making landfall early Thursday, forecasters have warned.
Upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane early Wednesday, Grace is presently moving toward the Yucatán Peninsula in a west-northwestward motion at a pace of just 16 miles per hour. The cyclone has maintained maximum sustained wind speed of 80 miles per hour, and is about 170 miles east of the ancient Mayan port city of Tulum.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) August 18, 2021
At present, hurricane-force winds have been recorded as being felt up to 15 miles from the center of the storm, with tropical storm-force winds extending out some 140 miles. Tropical storm winds have been reported near western Cuba.
An advisory released by the US National Hurricane Center indicates that after making landfall early Thursday, the system is forecasted to eventually move over the southwest Gulf of Mexico sometime late Thursday into early Friday.
“Some strengthening is possible before the center of Grace reaches the Yucatán Peninsula,” reads the bulletin. “Weakening will occur while the center moves over the Yucatán Peninsula on Thursday, with restrengthening expected when Grace moves over the southwest Gulf of Mexico on Friday.”
However, the system is expected to downgrade into a tropical depression by midday Saturday.
© Courtesy of the US National Hurricane CenterForecast provided by the US National Hurricane Center predicts that Hurricane Grace will be making landfall in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula by late Wednesday into early Thursday. However, the Category 1 system is expected to gain momentum upon entering the Gulf of Mexico and making a second landfall on the Mexican mainland early Friday.
Forecast provided by the US National Hurricane Center predicts that Hurricane Grace will be making landfall in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula by late Wednesday into early Thursday. However, the Category 1 system is expected to gain momentum upon entering the Gulf of Mexico and making a second landfall on the Mexican mainland early Friday.
© Courtesy of the US National Hurricane Center
Hurricane warnings have been initiated for much of the peninsula, with alerts being activated from the resort town of Cancún to Campeche and as far south as Puerto Costa Maya. Tropical storm warnings have been implemented for similar areas, as well as the Cayman Islands.
The US agency has stated that as much as 12 inches of rain is likely to swamp portions of the peninsula through Friday, and bring about flash flooding, mudslides, and storm surges of up to 5 feet.
And that’s still not all, folks.
“Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” the advisory notes. “Swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) August 18, 2021
Grace is currently just one of three systems sounding off alarms along the Atlantic. Aside from the Category 1 cyclone, there’s also tropical storm Henri and the remnants of tropical storm Fred, which has eagle-eyed forecasters concerned that the storm could still prompt isolated tornadoes along the US East Coast.