Tropical Storm Alex weakened and was downgraded as it moved over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula early Sunday, but forecasters say it could regain some of its fading strength when it passes over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression Alex, which made landfall in Belize late Saturday, is moving across the southern Yucatan Peninsula with winds around 55 kilometers per hour.

Alex is expected to bring some 10 to 20 centimeters of rain on the Yucatan Peninsula, southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize by Monday.

Forecasters say some mountainous areas of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize could get  as much as 40 centimeters of rain, possibly causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Experts say unless the storm suddenly changes direction, it is not expected to pose a threat to oil-spill cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico, where a ruptured oil well is leaking massive amounts of crude into the water every day.

The head of cleanup operations, U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, had said earlier if the storm were to pass over the spill area, cleanup operations could be suspended for two weeks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.