Hurricane Dean emerged over the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico Tuesday afternoon after slamming ashore on Mexico's Caribbean coast before dawn as a monstrous storm and swirling across the Yucatan Peninsula, US forecasters said.
The storm, which hit land at the topmost category five, lost much of its punch as it traveled overland but could regain power over the warm Gulf waters, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
At 2100 GMT, Dean's center was located 100 kilometers (60 miles) west-southwest of the city of Campeche over the Gulf of Mexico, the Miami-based center said.
Its maximum sustained winds were down to 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour, which put it at category one hurricane, the lowest intensity on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
The NHC forecast track had the hurricane hitting land again in central Mexico on Wednesday afternoon.