Tropical Storm Alex forms south of Playa del Carmen

Tourists and local officials are watching closely as the first named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Alex, forms off the coast of Belize and due south of Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

The Playa Palms live webcam located in the heart of Playa del Carmen's main beach reveals a rainy sky and blustery winds well ahead of the storm's potential arrival.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Alex is "a large cyclone with an extensive areas of cloudiness, numerous squalls in rainbands and a well-established upper-level outflow in all quadrants."

Travelers heading to resort towns around Cancun and the Riviera Maya should take some comfort in the fact that the storm has a poorly organized inner core and is unlikely to strengthen much before making landfall somewhere in the Yucatan early on Sunday.

Spending time over the Yucatan land mass is expected to dampen the storm's strength even more before it enters the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

At that point, the storm could threaten the cleanup effort on the BP oil spill, which is centered off the coast of Louisiana. Most forecast models show the storm staying well to the west, potentially making a second landfall near the U.S./Mexico border or as far east as Galveston, Texas.

Most travelers from Austin and other U.S. departure cities are not expected to change their travel plans.

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