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Matthew weakens, drenches Central America

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect
  • NEW: Matthew weakens into a tropical depression
  • The system could bring heavy rain and treacherous mudslides

Miami, Florida (CNN) -- Matthew weakened into a tropical depression Saturday but continued to drench Central America, bringing with it a threat of flash floods and mudslides, forecasters said.

As of 5 p.m. ET, the weather system was centered about 105 miles (170 km) southwest of Chetumal, Mexico, and was heading northwest at 14 mph (22 kph). Its maximum sustained winds had weakened to 35 mph (55 kph), according to the Miami, Florida-based National Hurricane Center.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect, the center said. The governments of Belize and Honduras had previously issued tropical storm warnings for parts of their countries.

The weather system could dump between 6 and 10 inches of rain over portions of Belize, Guatemala and the Mexican state of Chiapas, with up to 15 inches falling in isolated areas, forecasters said. The treacherous rain could also trigger mudslides.

"These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. A heavy rain threat should continue over Central America even after Matthew dissipates," the center said.

Track-prediction maps indicate that Matthew, the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, will continue to move toward the northwest and slow down significantly. It could become nearly stationary during the next day or two, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, as of 4 p.m. ET, the center of Tropical Storm Lisa was about 605 miles (970 km) north-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands and was heading north in the Atlantic Ocean. Lisa, which was previously a Category 1 hurricane, had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph).

There were no watches or warnings in effect associated with Lisa. The system is expected to continue weakening during the next 48 hours, the center said.