Tropical Storm Alex Gaining Strength Over Gulf

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Tropical Storm Alex is swirling across the Gulf of Mexico, gaining strength as it heads towards Mexico's northeastern coast. It could reach hurricane-strength by Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm is well clear of the Gulf oil spill. But over the weekend, Alex's rains caused flooding and mudslides that left at least four people dead in Central America.

Meteorologists said the storm is likely to miss the oil-slicked region and make landfall in Mexico.

Along Mexico's popular Caribbean coast, officials warned tourists to stay out of rough surf kicked up by the storm. However, there were no immediate reports of damage to popular beach destinations including Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Alex was centered about 75 miles (115 kilometers) west of Campeche, Mexico, early Monday and was moving northwest near 6 mph (9 kph).

Forecasters said rain will continue in southern Mexico and Guatemala until Tuesday.

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