When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Franklin instruments aboard provided a night-time view of the storm's clouds and measured their temperatures, revealing a strengthening storm.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured infrared images of Franklin on August 8 at 3:58 a.m. EDT (0758 UTC). The Suomi NPP night-time image showed that Franklin's northwestern edge had not yet reached San Francisco de Campeche or Merida, as the lights of both cities were still visible in the image. The infrared image provided temperatures of Franklin's cloud tops, where thunderstorms surrounding the low-level center were as cold as 190 Kelvin (minus 117.7 degrees Fahrenheit / minus 83.1 degrees Celsius). NASA research has shown that storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the ability to generate very heavy rainfall.
By early August 9, Franklin's center had slipped off land and emerged into the Bay of Campeche in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center noted that a Hurricane Warning is in effect for the coast of Mexico from Puerto de Veracruz to Cabo Rojo as Franklin is expected to strengthen to a hurricane before making a second landfall. A Hurricane Watch is also in effect for the coast of Mexico north of Cabo Rojo to Rio Panuco and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of Mexico east of Puerto de Veracruz to Puerto Dos Bocas and the coast of Mexico north of Tuxpan to Barra del Tordo.
At 11 a.m. (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Franklin was located near 20.2 degrees north latitude and 93.9 degrees west longitude. That puts the center of Franklin about 140 miles (230 km) north-northeast of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico and about 165 miles (265 km) east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.
Franklin is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next day or so. On the forecast track, the center of Franklin is expected to approach the coast of eastern Mexico today, then cross the coast in the Mexican State of Veracruz tonight or early Thursday, August 10. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 kph) with higher gusts and the National Hurricane Center said Franklin is forecast to become a hurricane later today and reach the coast of Mexico as a hurricane tonight or early Thursday.
Explore further: NASA tracking Tropical Storm Franklin