MIAMI (AP) – Tropical Storm Gert headed for Mexico’s Gulf Coast on Sunday, bringing the threat of several inches of rain to areas already soaked by Hurricane Emily.

Gert’s predecessor, Tropical Storm Franklin, appeared to be on the verge of falling apart over cooler water in the Atlantic.

Mexican officials posted a tropical storm warning for parts of the Gulf coast, stretching from Palma Sola northward to La Pesca.

“The primary threat with this system is rainfall,” said Richard Pasch, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “And rains from Gert will reach some of the areas earlier affected by Emily, which would pose an increased flood threat.”

Pasch said Gert could deliver 4 to 8 inches of rain to some areas, with isolated mountain regions receiving up to 12 inches. The rain could trigger flash floods and mudslides, he said.

At 5 p.m. EDT, Gert was centered about 65 miles southeast of Tampico, Mexico, moving toward the west-northwest at 10 mph. The system had sustained winds of 40 mph – just above the 39 mph threshold to become a tropical storm – but had potential to strengthen slightly before landfall.

Meanwhile, Franklin had weakened in the open Atlantic and was expected to begin losing its tropical characteristics. With top sustained winds down to 50 mph, it was centered 365 miles west of Bermuda, and moving toward the east-northeast at 10 mph.

Despite its distant location, the circulation driven by Franklin was helping blast Florida with hot, humid air. Many parts of the state had heat-index readings of 105 degrees or more on Saturday.

A heat advisory was posted for northwest portions of the Panhandle through Monday, and forecasters warned that little, if any, of the state would soon get relief from the oppressively hot, sticky temperatures.

The heat index on Sunday reached 110 at Tyndall Air Force Base, 108 in Orlando and 105 in Miami Beach.


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