Miami – Tropical Storm Arlene, packing maximum sustained winds of about 100 kph (62 mph) made landfall Thursday near Cabo Rojo, a town on the east coast of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center, or NHC, said.
The storm was located about 75 kilometers (45 miles) north of Tuxpan and 85 kilometers (55 miles) south-southeast of Tampico at 1200 GMT, the Miami-based NHC said.
Arlene, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is moving west at 13 kph (8 mph), the NHC said.
A hurricane warning is in effect for the east coast of Mexico from Barra de Nautla north to La Cruz, while a tropical storm warning is in effect from La Cruz north to La Pesca and from Barra de Nautla south to Veracruz.
Alerts are in effect in 17 of Mexico's 32 states, with Tamaulipas and Veracruz at the highest level of alert, Mexico's Sinaproc emergency management office said.
Torrential rains are expected in Veracruz and the central and southern sections of Tamaulipas, where Tampico is located.
Heavy rains are expected in the next few hours across a large section of central, eastern and northeastern Mexico, the Mexican weather service said.
The torrential rains "could cause damage to highway infrastructure and poorly built dwellings, light to moderate flooding, an increase in levels at dams, increases in the levels of rivers and streams, wash-outs and mudslides in the mountains," Sinaproc said.
Residents of areas in the storm's path are urged to "go to temporary shelters" if they are in danger, Sinaproc said.
The Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.