The U.S. Department of State on Wednesday issued a Travel Alert for the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the Yucatan Peninsula, because of the onset of Hurricane Rina.
This includes popular resort areas Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Rina, as of early Wednesday afternoon, was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, located about 185 miles south-southeast of Cozumel.
Rina is expected to make landfall early Thursday, and the National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Warning for the northeast coast of the peninsula from just north of Punta Gruesa to San Felipe (this includes Tulum, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Cancun).
The Department of State is recommending that U.S. Citizens in the Quintana Roo area prepare themselves for the storm's approach and to carry their passports and travel documents or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. They also should let family and friends know of their precise whereabouts.
Because of Rina's compact size, according to The Weather Channel on Wednesday, "it is impossible today to specify which, if any, land areas on Yucatan will receive hurricane conditions."
It's unlikely that Rina, as it veers toward the northeast and skirts the northwestern edge of Cuba, will reach Florida as a hurricane. But the it could do so as a weaker tropical storm.
-- Graphic is courtesy of The Weather Channel