Latin America and Caribbean

This May Be The Atlantic's First Hurricane Of The Year

Experts believe Tropical Storm Franklin will become a hurricane before it touches land again.

This May Be The Atlantic's First Hurricane Of The Year
NOAA / NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team
SMS

The Atlantic is expected to face its first hurricane this season when Tropical Storm Franklin hits Mexico's east coast.

As of Wednesday morning, Franklin's maximum sustained winds reached 70 mph. That figure only has to get to 74 mph for Franklin to be deemed a hurricane — and experts believe it will happen before the storm makes its second landfall.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts Franklin will hit Mexico's east coast Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning. It's warning certain areas about flash floods and mudslides.

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The storm already brought heavy rains and winds to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula earlier this week.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted more hurricanes than usual this year for the Atlantic. In total, it believes five to nine will develop in 2017.

If Franklin becomes the first, as expected, it'll be right on schedule. Decades of data shows the Atlantic season first sees a hurricane on average around Aug. 10.