Tropical Storm Karl has weakened into a tropical depression while nearing Mexico’s southern Gulf shore, though forecasters say its heavy rain could still cause problems on the easily flooded stretch of coast

MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Karl weakened into a tropical depression while nearing Mexico’s southern Gulf shore, though forecasters said its heavy rain could still cause problems on the easily flooded stretch of coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm would move near land during Saturday and likely dissipate by early Sunday. It meandered slowly Friday, angling away from what had been an expected landfall in the evening.

Karl had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) late Friday. It was centered about 75 miles (125 kilometers) west-northwest of Ciudad del Carmen and moving south at 3 mph (6 kph).

The coastal cities of Coatzacoalcos and Paraiso lie near the storm’s expected path.

“The rains forecast could cause mudslides, rising levels in rivers and streams, and flooding in low-lying areas,” Mexico’s National Water Commission said in a statement.

The U.S. hurricane center said Karl could drop 2 to 5 inches (5 to 13 centimeters) of rain across portions of Veracruz and Tabasco states as well as northern Chiapas and Oaxaca states through Sunday morning. It said as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) could fall in isolated spots.

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