MIAMI -- Newly christened Hurricane Diana took aim Tuesday at Mexico's Gulf Coast with heavy rain and 75 mph winds as coastal regions prepared for up to 8 inches of rain.
Forecasters warned that Diana's torrential rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides as it moved ashore in the mountainous coast between Veracruz and Tuxpan de Rodriguez Cano.
Diana's eye was expected to make landfall about 3 p.m. Tuesday, said forecaster Laxion Avila at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Rain and wind gusts of 56 mph were recorded in the seaport community of Veracruz Tuesday morning.
'The weather should be getting worse. The main thing is that it's going to produce a lot of rain, about 8 inches, with flash floods and mudslides where the eye hits the coast,' Avila said.
Diana was upgraded from a tropical storm Tuesday morning as winds reached 75 mph.
'This is just a minimal hurricane right now but it could become a little stronger,' Avila said.
At 6 a.m. EDT, Diana was centered about 115 miles east-northeast of Nautla, Mexico, near latitude 20.5 north, longitude 95.7 west, and moving due west at 15 mph.
Hurricane winds extended 85 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds outward up to 200 miles. Forecasters predicted tides would surge to 4 feet above normal near the landfall area.
The Mexican government issued a hurricane warning from Lerdo de Tejada north to La Pesca and a tropical storm warning from La Pesca north to Boca Jesus Maria, about 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.
Small boats were advised to remain in port from Baffin Bay, Texas, southward.
Diana is the second hurricane of the Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The storm emerged early Monday over the gulf after lashing the Yucatan with 45 mph winds and moderately heavy rain during a day-long trek across the peninsula. The storm swept ashore Sunday on the Yucatan's east coast north of Chetumal.
In the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Cesar continued to weaken and was downgraded to a tropical depression. It was centered about 1,175 miles east-southeast of Bermuda with 30 mph winds and was expected to drift slowly toward the northeast before dissipating Tuesday night.
Forecasters also monitored a new tropical depression in the North Atlantic. At 6 a.m., tropical depression No. 6 was centered near latitude 37.8 north, longitude 34.8 west, or about 210 miles southwest of the westernmost Azores.
It was creeping west-northwest at 6 mph and was expected to continue that motion Tuesday, then turn to the northeast Tuesday night.
Its top winds were 29 mph, 5 mph short of tropical storm strength, and forecasters said little change in strength was likely during the next 24 hours.