Tropical Storm Grace was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 11:00 a.m. EDT.
Grace is predicted to hit the Quintana Roo coast Wednesday night or early Thursday morning near Tulum, Mexico’s National Water Commission said.
Torrential rainfall, strong winds and powerful waves are forecast for the peninsula starting Wednesday, before spreading to eastern Mexico on Friday.
The NHC reported a hurricane warning is in effect from Cancún, Quintana Roo, to 400 kilometers south at Punta Herrero, including Cozumel Island. It said a tropical storm warning is in effect from Punta Herrero to 80 kilometers south at Puerto Costa Maya and from Cancún to Campeche, 480 kilometers west.
The storm was located 105 kilometers west of Grand Cayman and 560 kilometers east of Tulum, Quintana Roo, with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph). It was moving west-northwest at close to 24 kmh.
It is expected to come within 115 kilometers of Punta Allen, about 54 km south of Tulum, on Thursday morning before crossing the peninsula overland as a tropical storm toward Progreso, Yucatán. It is forecast to continue west to Veracruz and come within 35 kilometers of Tocolutla as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday morning before crossing inland Sunday, passing north of Mexico City as a tropical storm.
Conagua advised people to exercise precaution due to rain, wind and waves.
Several government departments and agencies released a joint statement Tuesday, warning of the need for preventative action to avoid a natural disaster.
It said two to three meter waves could be expected in Quintana Roo this evening and that the hurricane could affect Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel Island and Cancún tonight. It added that it could become a Category 2 hurricane near Veracruz late Friday or early Saturday.
The statement also added that torrential train should be expected in Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz and Hidalgo and intense rain in Guanajuato, Querétaro, Tamaulipas and Tlaxcala on Friday and Saturday.
Mexico News Daily