Tropical Storm Helene formed just offshore in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday, posing a threat to areas where thousands of people were still recovering from flooding spawned last week by Hurricane Ernesto.

With maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, Helene will not affect Gulf of Mexico’s oil installations, which are built to resist much more powerful hurricanes.

Helene was predicted to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain, with as many as 15 inches across northeastern portions of Mexico. A storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 1 to 2 feet above normal along the immediate coast and to the north of where landfall is made.

Helene is moving to the northwest at 7 miles per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue and bring the storm ashore along the Mexican coast on Saturday. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect along the coast of Mexico from Barra de Nautla to La Cruz.


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