Update, 11 a.m. EST: Arthur has been downgraded to a tropical depression and continues to move southwest over southern Mexico. This is the last we will report on this storm.
(May 31) -- Tropical Storm Arthur has started the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins officially on June 1, a day early. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm formed near Belize and is currently moving over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. As of 5 p.m. today, Tropical Storm Arthur was located 75 miles northwest of Belize City.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for the coasts of Belize and Yucatan. Arthur does not pose a threat to any cruise ports or itineraries at this point, but we'll keep you posted.
The following Carnival ships are sailing in the Western Caribbean this week: Carnival Conquest, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Legend, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Glory, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Triumph and Holiday. Royal Caribbean has two ships cruising in the area: Enchantment of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.
Tropical Storm Arthur is moving inland at seven-miles-per-hour towards the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico, a hot spot for storm activity during hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center says that if the storm moves over the Bay of Campeche by tomorrow, it may continue as a tropical storm. Otherwise, it is expected to weaken to a depression by tonight.
The storm system is hitting Mexico, Belize and Guatemala with 40 m.p.h. winds and up to 10 inches of rain. The National Hurricane Center has issued flash-flood and mudslide warnings for these areas.
This is the second tropical storm to hit the Americas this year. Tropical Storm Alma formed in the Pacific last week and has since dissipated over Central America.
--by Caroline Costello, Editorial Assistant
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Update: Arthur Launches Atlantic Hurricane Season
June 1, 2008