Arlene's Tropical Downpours Threaten Flooding in Mexico

June 29, 2011; 12:05 PM ET
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Excessive rainfall from Tropical Storm Arlene will threaten flash flooding over wide areas of eastern and southern Mexico during the next few days.

Arlene gathered strength over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. The storm will spin ashore near Tampico Thursday morning.

At greatest threat of excessive flooding rain will be specific parts of northeastern and southern Mexico.

In the northeast, moisture-laden flow off the Gulf, along and north of Arlene's path, will unleash heavy to excessive rainfall between the coast and the upper Sierra Madre Oriental in the states of Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon. Rainfall here could locally top 12 inches by Friday.

On the Pacific side, a flow heavy with tropical moisture will wring out torrential, potentially flooding, rainfall between the coast and the nearby mountains in Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas.

Weather observations out of Acapulco Wednesday morning showed rainfall of 5.3 inches in the foregoing 24 hours.

In both areas, serious flash flooding and river flooding will be possible. Steep slopes will be prone to mudslides and landslides.

At the same time, localized excessive rain could spark flooding elsewhere in eastern and southern Mexico, including both coasts as well as highland tracts.

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